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Gun and bat in Pistorius case 'were moved'

Police photographs of the blood-spattered scene where Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend indicate that evidence was moved in violation of investigation procedure, the chief defence lawyer has told the court.

Warrant officer Bennie van Staden took hundreds of photos of the scene, including of blood marks, bullet casings, a gun and a cricket bat found inside Pistorius' bathroom in the hours after the double-amputee athlete killed Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on February 14 last year.

BUNGLED

Chief defence lawyer Barry Roux has challenged previous police witnesses at the High Court in Pretoria, seeking to uncover contradictions to support his argument that officers bungled the investigation.

He asked Mr van Staden to explain differences in photographs of the 9mm pistol that Pistorius used to shoot Ms Steenkamp through a closed toilet door, and of a cricket bat that the Paralympian used to hit the door.

"It seems there was movement of the bat" in the interval between two photos taken by Mr van Staden, Mr Roux said. "It seems like that," Mr van Staden conceded.

The police photographer also acknowledged that two pictures of the gun indicated that a mat underneath it could have been shifted.

Mr van Staden has said he took nine photographs of Pistorius soon after the shooting, with the athlete seen in some of the images standing in bloodstained prosthetic legs and wearing blood-soaked shorts in the garage of his home.

Pistorius (27), is charged with premeditated murder for killing Ms Steenkamp (29). He has pleaded not guilty to murder and says he shot his girlfriend accidentally, thinking she was an intruder in the bathroom, and that he struck the toilet door with a cricket bat to get to Ms Steenkamp after realising what he had done.

Prosecutors claim Pistorius killed Ms Steenkamp after an argument.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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