On Tuesday, the spokesperson for Oscar Pistorius, Anneliese Burgess confirmed that the defence team had called on American forensic experts to aid the athlete in his preparations for his upcoming murder trial. Pistorius was famous for being the double-amputee who went beyond expectations when he competed against able-bodied athletes. These days, he is more famous for being the one who pulled the trigger on the gun which killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
As Pistorius explained it, he heard sounds and assumed that a burglar had somehow made his way into the high-security complex where he lives and into the bathroom of his home. To protect himself and Steenkamp, who he thought was lying in bed at the time, Pistorius shot through the bathroom door. He only realised when it was too late that it was actually Steenkamp in the bathroom, so he said. The state does not think things happened that way.
The forensic experts were invited to help Pistorius prove his version of events. On Thursday, the South African Police Services, who have been co-operating with the team of investigators from the United States, confirmed that the bathroom door was an important aspect of the foreign team’s investigation. The door was reattached to help the investigators make their calculations and take measurements. The police issued a statement which read: “The investigating officer and a ballistic expert from SAPS were present during the examination of the toilet door. They had controlled access to the toilet door to enable them to conduct their own independent examination.”
The door is part of a key dispute in the case. The prosecutors believe that Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic limbs when he fired the fatal shots. Pistorius maintains that the urgency of the situation left him no time to put on his prosthetic limbs and was down on his stumps when he shot through the bathroom door. The court will pay attention to the position of the bullet holes as well as the trajectory of the bullets during the trial.
Prosecutors admit that the door is a valuable piece of evidence however; it is not all they have against Oscar Pistorius. It has been reported that neighbours heard loud voices and what sounded like an argument shortly before they heard the shots. Some communication devices including an iPad were scrutinised to reconstruct the events of Valentine’s Day at the Pistorius residence. The details of two other incidents during which Pistorius discharged a weapon are expected to intrigue the court during his trial.
The defence team is hopeful that the results of this investigation will save Oscar Pistorius from a prison term of at least 25 years if he is found guilty of the premeditated murder of model Reeva Steenkamp. The Oscar Pistorius murder trial is set for three weeks in March 2014.