Expatica news

Pistorius trial – key points from day 12

A ballistics expert testified to help recreate the moment Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend and a police photographer came under fire on the 12th day of the Paralympian’s murder trial.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s proceedings:

– The athlete cried and stopped his ears with his fingers as police ballistics expert Chris Mangena started describing the trajectory of bullets that killed model Reeva Steenkamp, 29. Mangena will give more detailed evidence on Wednesday.

– Pistorius pointed his 9 mm pistol at a downward angle when he shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door.

– Defence lawyer Barry Roux accused police photographers of moving and tampering with evidence.

He grilled police witness Bennie van Staden about the “great disturbance” of sheets on the athlete’s bed and bloodied towels in the bathtub the photographer moved in search of more evidence. Van Staden testified he took images of the items’ original positions before moving them.

– Roux also noted a “great overlap” in the times photographers took the images, despite their statements they worked separately. If the defence proves police witnesses lied, the court can decide not to trust their testimony and evidence.

– Judge Thokozile Masipa reprimanded Roux sharply in the morning after prosecutor Nel accused him of ridiculing his witness.

“You cannot argue with the witness,” she told Roux after he bickered with police photographer Van Staden over which was the “front” side of a cricket bat.