Voice of America (Washington, DC)

17 April 2014

South Africa: Forensics Expert Differs From Pistorius On Magazine Rack

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius in court (file photo).

A defense forensics expert in the trial of South African runner Oscar Pistorius has testified he thinks a magazine rack was in a different location than where Pistorius cited during his testimony.

Former police officer Roger Dixon told the court Thursday that based on his interpretation, the rack was next to the toilet when Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home last year.

Dixon said bruises on Steenkamp's body likely came from her falling onto the rack. Pistorius has told the court that the rack was not next to the toilet on the night of the shooting.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has questioned Dixon's expertise and methods of analysis in several days of cross-examination.

The trial is taking a two-week break after Thursday's session, and will resume May 5.

The defense has said it plans to call a total of 14 to 17 witnesses, of which three have testified so far.

Pistorius said he is innocent of murder, and thought he was shooting at an intruder. Prosecutors say he intentionally shot her.

If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Pistorius is known as the "blade runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. He has won many Paralympic Games medals, and was the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.

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