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Ballistics cop testifies in Oscar trial

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REUTERS

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during court proceedings at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Photo: Werner Beukes/Reuters

Pretoria - Ballistic details related to the four shots that killed murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend were heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Ballistics investigator Captain Christian Mangena gave this evidence on his examination of the toilet door through which Pistorius fired the shots that killed Reeva Steenkamp.

He said after reassembling the door at ballistics, with the original screws, he marked out the bullet holes and took it back to Pistorius's house in Silver Woods estate in Pretoria.

Forensics expert Colonel Johan Vermeulen helped him reassemble the door.

Mangena marked the bullet holes again and took their measurements.

Bullet hole “a” was at a 93.5cm height from the bathroom floor, “b” was 104.3cm, “d” was 99.4cm and “d” was 97.3cm,” he testified.

Mangena said he went into the toilet cubicle and noticed marks on the tiles, and marked these as a marks made by ricochets.

He took the measurements of those two holes.

He found traces of lead on the tiles and photographed these three marks. He used a rod to determine the trajectory of the bullet perforating the door.

“This indicates the target is going to be somebody who is inside the toilet,” he said.

It was at a slight downward angle of between five and six degrees.

Mangena used an angle finder in determining the angle of the bullet and explained that he used a laser to establish the trajectory.

He said he put the laser on a tripod then closed the door and a laser beam went through the bullet hole mark. He also used an angle finder on the laser to measure the height of the laser.

He asked to see pictures taken of the scene.

“I wanted to see the position of the cartridges at the scene,” said Mangena.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp in his house on February 4 last year, but contends that he mistook her for an intruder.

He has also denied two charges of contravening the Firearms Control Act.

The trial resumes on Wednesday.

Sapa

Click here for IOL’s live blog about the Oscar trial.


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