Ballistics expert questioned about splinters

2014-05-12 11:22
Ballistics expert Tom "Wollie" Wolmarans is questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Chris Collingridge, Pool)

Ballistics expert Tom "Wollie" Wolmarans is questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Chris Collingridge, Pool)

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Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius sat in the dock on Monday morning listening to ballistics expert Thomas "Wollie" Wolmarans testify in the North Gauteng High Court.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued his cross-examination of the defence witness and asked him about wooden splinters on Pistorius's toilet.

Nel displayed a photo of the toilet on screens around the court and asked for it to be zoomed in to show the splinters.

"There is at least one splinter," Wolmarans said.

"It fell there [after the gunshots]... or it could've been of the blow of the cricket bat. My opinion is that it was rather from a shot that was fired."

The paralympic athlete is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year. Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

On Monday, Nel questioned Wolmarans on tests he carried out. He told the court he had to conduct an experiment with the firearm twice because he could not fire rapidly.

"The first firearm that I used was not friendly with that type of ammunition," he explained.

"I was not able to fire rapidly."

Questioned by Nel on Friday, Wolmarans highlighted differences between his conclusions and the State's.

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.

He has denied guilt on these charges as well.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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