Sunday 21 December 2014

Pistorius lawyers outraged as 'unlawful' footage leaked

Aislinn Laing and Jonathan Pearlman

Published 07/07/2014 | 02:30

Oscar Pistorius sits in court during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius is charged with the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Photo: AP
Oscar Pistorius sits in court during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius is charged with the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Photo: AP
Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in Johannesburg in February 2013
Reeva Steenkamp: Pistorius' former girlfriend

Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, have sharply criticised the "unlawful" leaking of a video which shows the athlete re-enacting the events of February 14 last year.

The footage, aired yesterday by Australia's Channel Seven, shows the athlete running without his prosthetic legs, with his arm outstretched and fist clenched as if holding a gun.

In another scene, he acts out how he broke down the lavatory door and pulled Steenkamp out of the cubicle after shooting at her four times through the door.

The brunette in the clip is understood to be his sister, Aimee, and the footage was filmed at his uncle Arnold's house.

During the clips, the athlete is heard screaming "get the f*** out of my house" at what he says he believed was an intruder hiding in his lavatory, and "Reeva, call the police". He also later shouted: "Please help, please help me".

The prosecution say Pistorius's intruder account is a lie and that he killed Steenkamp deliberately after an argument.

A solicitor acting for Pistorius confirmed the footage was filmed by The Evidence Room, a US forensic animation company which puts together graphic re-enactments of crimes. Brian Webber said it was made as part of the process of creating the animation and was never meant to be broadcast.

"For the family, the airing of this footage constitutes a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of the family's privacy," he said in a statement.

Questions have been raised as to why The Evidence Room's work was not used by the defence team during the trial, which resumes today for what is likely to be the close of the defence case.

In some of the video clips, Pistorius is shown doing things that do not fit with his version. However, it is possible The Evidence Room filmed Pistorius re-enacting his version and the state's, in order to show which was more feasible.

Mr Webber said they had not yet seen the footage and could not comment on whether it was a true reflection of the athlete's account.

The lawyer claimed Channel Seven had paid for the footage "unlawfully" but had given "an undertaking" that they would not air any of the material before the end of the trial. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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