Tag Archives: Oscar Trial

Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial Latest

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Oscar Pistorius Murder Case Continues

If found guilty Oscar Pistorius is potentially facing  life in prison. The defense opened its case by calling a pathologist to try and cast doubt on the prosecution’s declaration that Reeva ate only two hours before Oscar killed her.

The testimony of forensic pathologist Prof. Jan Botha is critical to the defense, as Pistorius declared they were in bed by 10 p.m. and any contradiction of that fact could dwindle the credibility of his description of the events. The prosecution claims Oscar intentionally killed Reeva Steenkamp after an argument.

Prof. Jan Botha is a valuable witness as he has done many thousands of autopsies in his career, of which at least 5000 involved gun shot killings. He declared that it is almost impossible to prove when last Reeva had something to eat before the incident. Also that she would not have been able to call out if the shots were fired in quick succession.

Questions for Oscar Pistorius that will dictate the case of the defense

Why did he shoot?

Pistorius must prove he acted legally in self-defense when he fired. Gerrie Nel, chief prosecutor, is expected to ask him tough but simple questions.

The prosecution made Pistorius appear to be trigger happy. Defense needs to show Pistorius was a careful gun owner but had good reason to feel at risk. Pistorius will have to convince why he thought he was truly in danger.

Will Pistorius keep his composure?

Oscar Pistorius has displayed varied emotional reactions. From hanging his head to crying, vomiting, turning red, staring intently at the proceedings, and scribbling notes to his lawyer.

His behavior on the stand could speak volumes.

Can the prosecution match the defense?

Barry Roux, Oscar’s lawyer, has asked each witness some twisted, grueling and intricate questions. Some witnesses were tripped, causing doubt to their memories of the incident. Nel will now be able to unravel Pistorius’ declarations.

Did police botch the investigation?

The South African Police was embarrassed by how some officers handled the crime scene in this trial. Evidence was moved and a watch may have been stolen. The case will not be dismissed because of these mistakes, but it may affect the outcome.

What will the judge do?

The biggest question is what Judge Thokozile Masipa is thinking of the facts and Oscar’s conduct thus far? Masipa alone will decide Pistorius’ fate. Up to now Masipa and her two assessors have quietly observed.

 

 

.Photo Courtesy of: gosouthonline.co.za

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Reeva Steenkamp

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Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Evidence regarding Reeva Steenkamp

Reeva Steenkamp tried to protect her head

She was in a defensive position when she was hit by the last shots Oscar fired through the locked toilet door, according to a ballistics expert. Captain Chris Mangena told the Court whilst bending forward to demonstrate:

• The first shot struck her in her hip, standing up. It flung Steenkamp onto a magazine rack in the toilet.

• The bullets Oscar Pistorius used were designed to cause maximum damage to human tissue.

• The second shot missed her and ricocheted.

• There was a break between shot one and two.

• By then she was seated with her back to the wall.

• According to his findings, she had both hands over her head, across each other.

• She had a wound to her left hand where it was hit by the same bullet that struck her in the head.

In definite anguish and fear she did the natural thing for any person in physical danger: covered her head, but she couldn’t save her own life.

What was Oscar’s position?

Mangena said the height of the holes in the door and the trajectory of the bullets indicated that Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he fired. Another forensics expert testified earlier that the position of the marks a cricket bat made when Oscar tried to open the door, indicated Pistorius was on his stumps when he used it.

One would expect 2 police experts to have cleared that out before the trial, or not? Confusing me, is that Oscar Pistorius’ defense lawyer, Barry Roux, challenged both testimonies.

Mangena stood his ground even when Roux displayed his usual sarcasm.

Data from the iPad

The State called Colonel Mark Sale who testified that Pistorius had visited porn and used car websites shortly before Steenkamp died. Data on the iPad 3 and an iPad 2 that was found on the scene, had the same type of content on the usage histories. A porn website was visited at 18:30 on 13 February 2013, and later a site of cars which included an Aston Martin Rapider.

Gerrie Nel will only be back in court on Monday. He is to have final witness meetings as he prepares to wrap up the state’s case. Five more witnesses will be called.

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.Ref.: http://www.news24.com/

Photo: Cortesy of: http://110nationsports.com/remembering-reeva-steenkamp-one-year-later/

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Forensic Expert

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Expert Forensic Scientist’s opinion: Oscar Pistorius case

The background of this expert: 

Dr David Klatzow holds a PhD in Medical Biochemistry and stands out among our few forensic science experts. With more than twenty-eight years experience, he has appeared as witness in numerous cases, as an advisor to both plaintiffs and defendants. Some of the high profile cases were: the Helderberg crash, Guguletu 7, Piet Retief massacre and the murder of Brett Keble.

In November 2011 whilst lecturing in Durban, Klatzow said South Africa would be in deep “trouble” if forensic scientists continued to work hand in hand with the state because some police officers did not collect evidence thoroughly.

Nothing has changed yet!

In a recent radio interview, he pointed out the ‘stupid’ actions of certain officers in this investigation. Specifically the officer that picked up a gun without gloves and the scene that wasn’t cordoned off, allowing some persons entrance to take cellphone photos.

Resulting effects:

Dr. Klatzow used the following example: Barry Roux has shot many holes in the police vehicle, but has by no means stopped it in its tracks. It is still moving with enough evidence to give the state a strong case.

Mr. Roux fired some shots just for the fun of it.

Answers that Oscar Pistorius will have to supply

In the days to come, there will be the classic ‘Gunfight at dawn’ where the two gunslingers involved will be the state forensic investigators and the forensic investigators hired by Oscar. Especially regarding the trajectory of the bullets.

Questions that will be asked to Oscar Pistorius:

  • What was it that he heard to make him think it was a burglar.
  • Why did he think his life was endangered.
  • Why did he not speak to the intruder or fire a warning shot.
  • Why did he not use the panic button in his home.
  • From where exactly did he shoot.
  • If they were in bed by 10 o’clock, why is there proof that Reeva had eaten 2 hours before death.
  • At what pace did he fire the 4 shots.
  • What sounds did he hear in between the shots.
  • Why did he forget to check if Reeva was safe.
  • Why would Reeva go to the toilet at 3 in the morning with her cellphone and lock the door.

This game is not even nearly finished and the last whistle is still a long way off!

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Ref.: http://www.timeslive.co.za/

klatzow.co.za/‎

www.rsg.co.za/potgooi

Image: Courtesy of:  klatzow.co.za

 

 

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Judge Masipa

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Judge Masipa

Get to know the Judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

Thokozile Matilda Masipa was born in 1947. She grew up in a small, two-bedroom house in which she shared a bedroom with her siblings. Even after her marriage to Makhutla, they lived in a home with one room that was the bedroom, bathroom, study, you name it.

“During that period, I learned to interact with various people at all levels,” she said.

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Social Work and a Bachelor of Laws.

Before her legal career, Masipa worked as a social worker and as a crime reporter, who often reported on the indignities of life under apartheid. She was admitted as an advocate in 1991 and appointed as a judge in1998. Only Before her legal career, Masipa worked as a social worker and as a crime reporter, who often reported on the indignities of life under apartheid. She was admitted as an advocate in 1991 and appointed as a judge in1998. Only the second black woman to be appointed judge.

Masipa’s colleagues refers to her as respected, competent, eloquent, and reserved as well as having a “reputation for fairness and decency”. Some other comments are: “She works incredibly hard. She crosses all her t’s and dots all her i’s. She was probably the student who always got all the prizes for working the hardest.”

“She is not a dazzler, she does not shine, she’s not brilliant, but she’s steadfast and worthy,” said a senior advocate.

Judge Masipa has served as a judge for the past 16 years

On a personal level the following: Her hobbies include dancing, gardening and yoga. She seems to be a well balanced, organized and disciplined person. This is the person who presides over the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, and who is dealing with the drama and world-wide scrutiny around the case.

Her judgments that made the news

Two judgments and maximum sentences for men convicted of violence against women, is worth mentioning:

Judge Masipa sentenced the serial rapist and robber Shepherd Moyo by applying a maximum sentence of 252-years which she intended to serve as a deterrent.

She declared that the three rape victims were left shattered for life and Moyo’s lack of remorse proved that he can’t be rehabilitated. Her comments were: “The worst in my view is that he attacked and raped the victims in the sanctity of their own homes where they thought they were safe.” Reeva wasn’t in her own home, but should have been safe in the home of Oscar Pistorius. One has to wonder what Masipa sees in Pistorius’s response in court She declared that the three rape victims were left shattered for life and Moyo’s lack of remorse proved that he can’t be rehabilitated. Her comments were: “The worst in my view is that he attacked and raped the victims in the sanctity of their own homes where they thought they were safe.” Reeva wasn’t in her own home, but should have been safe in the home of Oscar Pistorius. One has to wonder what Masipa sees in Pistorius’s response in court and how he is perhaps playing her.

In 2009, Masipa declared a life sentence to a policeman, Freddy Mashamba, who shot and killed his ex-wife after an argument over their divorce settlement.

“No one is above the law. You deserve to go to jail for life because you are not a protector. You are a killer,” Masipa said.

What is her assumed verdict of Oscar Pistorius?

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Ref.: en.wikipedia.org

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