New marks on Oscar's toilet door questioned

2014-03-25 18:39
Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulenin court. (Themba Hadebe, AFP)

Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulenin court. (Themba Hadebe, AFP)

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Pretoria – New marks found on the Oscar Pistorius’s toilet door came to light after forensic analyst Colonel Johannes Vermeulen was recalled to testify in the North Guateng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"...The witness was called back on the request of Mr [Barry} Roux," said prosecutor Gerrie Nel after Vermeulen was sworn in.

Roux is Pistorius's defence lawyer.

Vermeulen testified earlier in the trial about the bloodied cricket bat Pistorius said he used to break a toilet door to free his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after he shot her.

Roux said Vermeulen was called back to the court on 18 March 2013 to examine the door for another mark the defence said it had spotted.

Vermeulen earlier testified he believed that Pistorius was on his stumps when he hit the door after shooting Steenkamp, based on tests and measurements done by the forensic analyst. This would contradict Pistorius's bail application statement in which he said he had put his prosthetic legs on before taking up the bat to free her.

The door has been part of an installation in the court room recreating the dimensions of Pistorius's toilet cubicle at his home in Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria.

Vermeulen said he looked again at the door and the marks he had investigated earlier.

"I was called back with the instruction to have a look at the door," he said.

"It was explained to me that the defence found a new mark on the door which they wanted me to give my view," said Vermeulen.

But he said he was not given any specific instructions on what to look for when he was asked to look at the door again.

Marks related to cricket bat

He arrived early in the morning when the police were conducting their explosives sweep with their dogs and he was alone, he testified.

Vermeulen repeated that the only marks he could relate to the cricket bat were those explained in his affidavit.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and of contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On 30 September 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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