The Oscar Pistorius Trial – Contaminated Crime Scene

By Oliver Ngwenya    13-Mar-2014 21:02 UTC+02:00
The entrance to the crime scene (Image: Independent Online)

The entrance to the crime scene (Image: Independent Online)

The Oscar Pistorius Trial opened on Thursday morning with the grilling of forensic expert, Lieutenant Johannes Vermulean, by the lead attorney, Barry Roux on the competency of the police in handling the evidence that they had collected from the scene of the alleged crime. In addition, their handling of the crime scene itself also came under fire from the veteran lawyer.

It appears that the main thrust of the defence team today was to bring as much doubt as possible on the credibility of the witness as well as on the evidence that he was presenting. He started off by requesting and getting the phone records of the forensic expert. This was supposedly to check which people he had called in order to ensure that his evidenced had not been affected.

Roux sought and managed to get the Colonel to admit that the crime scene was contaminated and that there were flaws in the whole investigation process. The first port of call was the door itself which the expert witness admitted had some parts missing: the splinters that came off when Oscar bashed it with the cricket bat once he realised that the person he had shot at was his girlfriend, Reeva and not an intruder. Secondly, the learned lawyer applied himself onto the footprint and other marks that had not been originally there. This, he contended, reflected on shoddy handling of a crime scene by the police.

Of interest is the fact that when asked about the splinters and who he had asked about them, Vermulean could or would not state who he had asked about these which further served to add doubt to the prosecution’s case. To further illustrate that the crime scene had been negatively affected by police actions or lack of them, Roux asked the Colonel about the box of watches that are alleged to have been taken out of the Pistorius home to which the witness stated that he was not aware of the crime.

Another expert witness took the stand, namely Mr van Rensburg who was the attending officer to the crime scene on the morning of the Reeva’s death. He has since resigned from the force with effect from December, 2013. With the help of pictures of the crime scene, the former police officer described how he got called to the case and what he saw on his arrival at the house in Silverwoods Country Estate. The court adjourned with him still on the stand and will convene again on Friday with him still on the stand.

There were reports some time during the day from reliable media and legal sources that the case is most likely to drag on until the 4th of April. However there are also strong indications that the case may go on beyond the 11th of April if all the evidence is not exhausted.

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