Athletics

Oscar Pistorius trial: Day eight review

Oscar Pistorius' trial is in its second week.
Oscar Pistorius' trial is in its second week..

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius continued today, with the majority of proceedings devoted to the testimony of lieutenant-colonel Gerhard Vermeulen.

Colonel Vermeulen, of the police forensic science laboratory at the South African Police Service, was on the stand for most of the day as the door through which Mr Pistorus shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in February of last year was erected in the courtroom.

The main bone of contention with regards to Colonel Vermulen's evidence appeared to be his assertions that the marks on the door - made when Mr Pistorius allegedly tried to smash it down with a cricket bat after shouting for help and putting on his prosthetic legs in order to get to Ms Steenkamp - seemed consistent with him actually still being on his stumps.

Barry Roux, Mr Pistorius' defence lawyer, swiftly challenged this and reportedly suggested that his client swung the bat with a bent back - therefore explaining the low position of those marks.

Such an argument is likely to be pivotal to the case, with part of Mr Pistorius' defence being that he fired the shots through the closed door when he was on his stumps fearing that an intruder had broken in.

Earlier in the day, Darren Fresno - a former friend of the defendant - was back on the witness stand and made the claim that Mr Pistorius once took picture of a speedometer proving that the Paralympic gold medalist was travelling at a whopping 220 kilometres-per-hour.

Such a claim was met with short shrift by Roux - who many have previously nicknamed 'The Rottweiler' - who went on to accuse Mr Fresno of fabricating evidence in court after claiming that it was in fact he who was driving the vehicle.

Mr Pistorius, a six-time Paralympic gold medalist nicknamed 'Blade Runner', stands accused of the pre-meditated murder of Ms Steenkamp - a charge he denies.

If found guilty of such a crime he faces life imprisonment. South Africa does not have a jury system, so his fate will rest in the hands of Judge Thokozile Masipa.

The trial continues in Pretoria.

Topics:
Oscar Pistorius
Athletics

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