PRETORIA, South Africa – Police pictures of the blood-spattered scene the place Oscar Pistorius shot lifeless his girlfriend indicate that proof was moved round in violation of process in the course of the investigation of the killing, the athlete's chief defense lawyer stated Tuesday.
Warrant officer Bennie van Staden, a police photographer, took hundreds of images of the scene, together with of blood stains, bullet casings, a gun and a cricket bat found inside Pistorius' bathroom in the hours after the double-amputee Olympic runner shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp before daybreak on Feb. 14 last 12 months.
Lawyer Barry Roux has challenged previous police witnesses, searching for to uncover contradictions and reported mishaps to help his argument that officers bungled the investigation, an allegation made by Pistorius in the beginning of the trial when he pleaded not responsible to homicide in Steenkamp's killing.
In a generally painstaking process Tuesday, Roux minutely examined many photographs taken by van Staden and another police officer and identified that objects on the crime scene had been moved and were in several positions in photographs. Roux additionally used time of day information on the images to point out that the two policemen taking photographs have been in the same room at factors, although van Staden testified he was working alone.
Roux compared images of the bloody bathroom scene taken by van Staden with photos in the bathroom taken by another policeman, recognized as a Col. Motha. Each have been within the lavatory at the moment, in response to the instances shown on the photographs.
"You did not see Col. Motha?" Roux asked van Staden, who replied he didn't.
"How big is that this toilet?" Roux said.
Possibly missing the hint of sarcasm in Roux's query, van Staden mentioned the toilet was roughly 4 meters by four meters.
Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp, 29. He denies murder and says he shot his girlfriend accidentally, thinking she was an intruder in a bathroom cubicle in the rest room, and says that he struck the toilet door with a cricket bat to get to Steenkamp after realizing what he had achieved.
Prosecutors cost that Pistorius killed Steenkamp after an argument.
Pistorius' lawyer additionally requested van Staden to explain variations in images of the 9 mm pistol that Pistorius used to shoot Steenkamp by a closed bathroom door, and of a cricket bat that the Paralympian used to hit the door.
"It appears there was motion of the bat" within the interval between two pictures taken by van Staden, Roux stated.
"It looks like that," van Staden conceded.
The police photographer also acknowledged that two images of the gun indicated that a mat underneath it might have been shifted. Roux stated one photograph additionally differed from the other as a result of it confirmed a wooden splinter on the gun handle.
Two other photographs of objects on the bedroom ground subsequent to Pistorius' bed confirmed tissues, what was recognized as a CD or disc and a distant management have been in different positions. Van Staden said he didn't know who moved them, but he remembered the disc was previously below the mattress.
"How does it happen that there's such an awesome disturbance of that scene?" Roux requested.
Roux was trying to construct a picture of a cluttered and confused crime scene with many officers engaged on it and presumably contaminating the proof.
Van Staden has stated he also took nine photographs of Pistorius soon after the taking pictures, with the athlete seen in a number of the photos standing in blood-stained prosthetic legs and carrying blood-soaked shorts within the storage of his residence.
Van Staden's testimony on Tuesday was delayed by over an hour to present the policeman time to gather photograph records and discs at the defense's request. Van Staden had stated he must retrieve photo information from office administration, but then stated Tuesday he had forgotten that he was really in possession of the grasp copies of the shooting scene images.