Expert's integrity comes under fire

2014-04-16 14:33
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel (Kim Ludbrook, AP)

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel (Kim Ludbrook, AP)

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Oscar contradicts himself - expert

2014-04-16 12:54

Criminal law expert William Booth says Oscar Pistorius crumbled under Gerrie Nel's cross examination by presenting different versions of what happened on February 14.WATCH

Pretoria - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Wednesday questioned the integrity of defence witness Roger Dixon as he testified in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.

Dixon told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria he was not present when the police's forensic expert conducted a gunshot test he (Dixon) had testified about.

"Why would you identify gunshots if you weren't there?" Nel asked him during cross-examination. Dixon testified as part of Pistorius's defence.

"It's a serious issue to identify gunshots when he was not there," Nel told Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Dixon said this was because he recognised the sound of gunshots. He said he was there and personally conducted tests on the sound of a cricket bat hitting a door.

He used the bat to bang on a meranti door similar to the one Pistorius fired shots through at his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his townhouse on Valentine's Day last year.

He apparently thought she was an intruder hiding in his toilet. He broke the door down with his cricket bat to get to Steenkamp.

Pistorius is charged with murdering her.

Neighbours have testified to hearing two sets of sounds from Pistorius's townhouse, one apparently the shots, the other possibly the sound of the cricket bat striking the door.

The gunshot and cricket bat tests, however, were not conducted on the same day, the court heard.

Since stepping into the witness box on Tuesday, Dixon, a qualified geologist, has testified on several aspects of the case, including the bullet wounds and wood splinter injuries Steenkamp sustained.

Earlier, Nel questioned Dixon's expertise, asking what qualifications he had in sound and ballistics.

The State argues Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp during an argument.

He 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 all the charges.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  roger dixon  |  oscar pistorius  |  thokozile masipa  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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