Today’s proceedings were dominated by the end of Gerrie Nel’s gruelling five-day cross-examination of the accused, in which Nel flatly declared the judge would have no choice but to convict Pistorius of premeditated murder. Barry Roux’s brief re-examination of his own client Oscar Pistorius followed, in which Pistorius was asked to read out the Valentine’s Day card message written to him by Reeva Steenkamp.
Oscar Pistorius’s defence team has also released an image of the tragic Valentine’s Day card Reeva Steenkamp wrote to him, telling him she loved him in a message intended to be read on the day he shot her dead:
Pistorius sat slouched, head in hands and blocking his ears with his thumbs, as Roger Dixon describes the trajectory and order of the bullets which killed Reeva Steenkamp. Pictures of bullet wounds appeared on the screen in the courtroom. Wood found in one of Miss Steenkamp’s wounds shows she was close to the door and likely reaching for the door handle with her right arm when she was hit, says Dixon.
Stephen Tuson, criminal law adjunct professor at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, told the magazine “South Africa doesn’t have a strong tradition of the use of forensic evidence simply because there’s a lack of resources” They [the Pistorius team] have taken the time and trouble, and spent the money, on obtaining good forensic experts. There’s going to be a large reliance placed on forensic evidence that will be dissected, by both sides, down to the last molecule.
Dixon refers to more tests he performed on the door, in which he attempted to strike the door in the same place with the same force as Pistorius had. “I struck that door quite hard and the effect has a similar shape but I did not have the strength to hit hard enough to compare. The return to technical, detailed analysis of forensic evidence marks a notable change in tone of proceedings compared to the last week, and a sense of deja vu as the same factors assessed by the prosecution’s witnesses are now reinterpreted by the defence.
The case continues…