Oscar Pistorius trial: Day 12 review

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

The murder trial of Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius continued today, with police photographer Bennie Van Staden under pressure from a defence who were clearly attempting to portray a picture of a disorganised crime scene.

Van Staden answered with a resolute "no" when Barry Roux - Mr. Pistorius' defence lawyer - asked if he had changed the scene on February 14 2013 - the day that the South African sprinter shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of the morning through his bathroom door.

However, he did admit that he had moved one or two objects including a gym bag and potentially even a bathmat, but appeared to have no knowledge of who may have been responsible for re-positioning or moving other items that included the cricket bat which Mr. Pistorius used to break down the door to get to the mortally-wounded Ms Steenkamp.

Pictures were shown to the court that appeared to show disturbances in the crime scene two days apart.

The reliability of this particular witness was challenged further after it was claimed that another man - Lt. Col Motha - was also capturing photos of the bathroom area at the same time, despite Van Staden claiming that he was alone in carrying out his work as far as he could remember.

Another witness to take the stand on day 12 was Captain Chris Mangena. An expert in ballistics, he recounted how he visited Mr. Pistorius' house following the shooting in order to determine the trajectory of the bullets - said to be 93.5cm, 97.3cm, 99cm and 104.3cm  above the level of the floor.

This is a crucial part of the trial, with Pistorius - who Captain Magena claims was measured at 156cm with the prosthesis and 123cm shoulder level without the prosthesis - adamant that he did not have his prosthetic legs on when he fired.

Captain Magena's testimony featured graphic recollections of Ms Steenkamp's injuries - something that once again clearly proved understandably upsetting and distressing to the victim's family and the defendant himself.

Mr. Pistorius - a six-time Paralymic gold medalist known as 'The Blade Runner' - stands accused of the pre-meditated murder of Ms Steenkamp as well as three other charges relating to the possession of ammunition and shooting a gun - all of which he denies.

Mr. Pistorius claims he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder and that he shot her by accident.

If found guilty of murder, he faces a potential sentence of life imprisonment. South Africa does not have a jury system, so his fate rests in the hands of judge Thokozile Masipa.

The trial continues.

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