Saturday 16 November 2019

Key points against 'Blade Runner' under scrutiny

Jamie Lindsay

The second day of the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing saw the prosecution's investigation challenged by the defence. This is what was claimed and contested.

Prosecution: Investigators say they found two boxes of testosterone along with syringes in a cabinet in the Paralympian's bedroom. Warrant officer Hilton Botha, the detective in charge of the investigation, called them "steroids" before correcting himself.

Defence: Barry Roux, the defence lawyer, said it was not testosterone, but a herbal remedy called testo compositum coenzyme used to combat exhaustion.

Prosecution: Mr Botha said a second witness heard gunfire and went to his balcony to see "that the lights in the house were on". This was followed by a female scream before two more shots were fired.

Defence: Mr Roux said the screams were those of Mr Pistorius in distress after discovering he had shot Ms Steenkamp. The athlete had said his bedroom was pitch black and that he was "too scared to turn the lights on".

Prosecution: A witness reported she heard "non-stop fighting" from inside Pistorius's house in the early hours of February 14, as well as a woman screaming.

Defence: Mr Botha conceded that the witness lived 600 metres away and could not distinguish between the voices of Pistorius or Ms Steenkamp. Nor was the witness sure that the noise was from the Pistorius house. Mr Botha later revised his estimate of the distance to the witness's house, saying it was closer to 300 metres.

Prosecution: Mr Botha said he believed that Pistorius had a home in Italy and several offshore accounts. This would make him more likely to skip bail and flee the country.

Defence: Mr Roux said there was no home in Italy, which Mr Botha accepted.

Prosecution: Four phones – two iPhones and two Blackberrys – were found in the home and Mr Botha said none had been used for any emergency calls.

Defence: Mr Roux said Pistorius had used another phone to call security and could be heard crying. Mr Botha admitted that police had failed to check that phone and had failed to contact the paramedics to check whether they had been called.

Prosecution: Prosecutors claimed that Pistorius put on his artificial legs and walked across the bedroom before firing four bullets into the locked lavatory door, killing Ms Steenkamp. They insinuated that she had fled an assault to hide there.

Defence: A post-mortem examination showed her bladder was empty, suggesting that she had actually used the lavatory. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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