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Defence witness in the Oscar Trial

<img src="Oscar.jpg" alt="Oscar" width="150" height="100">

Defence witness seems to do more damage

When prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned the Defence witness and sound expert earlier this week, it came to the courts knowledge that hê only did his test some two weeks ago. Hê was forced do do the testing in a changed environment from when the incident occurred some seventeen months ago. In that time much construction and plant growth have happened, all of which has a major effect on sound and the distances that sounds could be heard. The cherry on top was that Gerrie Nel was the first person. to inform him that the bathroom window was wide open at the time of the shooting.

Defence witness: Oscar’s agent and manager

It was no different when Mr. Peet van Zyl was cross examined by Nel. The answer he gave was not at all convincing. The court was expected to believe that Van Zyl never knew the reasons why a fellow athlete at the Olympics didn’t want to share the room with Oscar. Also that hê never discussed this with Oscar or his coach. This was in fact information in the media. Later he agreed that Oscar’s argumentative phone conversations could have been the reason.

Defence witness: Sports Medicine expert

Professor Wayne Derman, the Sports Medicine expert, took the stand to describe the challenges faced by disabled athletes. He has served as the South African Paralympic team’s doctor at the London games in 2012. He has treated Oscar for his sleep disorder. His evidence was aimed at showing how Pistorius could have been justified in his fears of attack, and why he reacted in fight mode rather than fleeing from apparent danger.

Derman spoke about the room swap issue and explains that room mate Arno Fourie had an upper respiratory tract infection and asked to be moved to a single room in order to avoid infecting Pistorius and any other athletes. yesterday the court heard that the reasons were the arguing on his phone by Oscar. Was Derman trying to protect Oscar by inventing this story?

Gerrie Nel and Derman disagreed on the purpose of Dermon’s witness. As Dermon have treated and known Pistorius for 6 years he is môre of a character witness than an expert and doctor/patient confidence has to rule.

At times Derman referred to facts for which he had no notes, such as hearing Oscar’s version of what happened on the night of the shooting. Nel created an awareness of bias towards Pistorius.

At times Derman became argumentative and Judge Masipa had to warn him that it is not his place to tell Nel how to ask his questions. Derman responded: My Lady, I’m not going to answer questions which I do not actually understand. Nel pointed out contradiction in Derman’s witness.

Defence witness: rushed?

As all these witnesses did most of their research in the past couple of weeks, one wonders when they got their briefing from Barry Roux. Are these last minute straw he is grabbing at and is this in fact negative impact on the trial?

Again the agony is prolonged, as court has adjourned till August!

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This article was posted on http://www.dial-direct.co.za/ and is reposted with permission.