Oscar trial zooms in on cops’ conduct

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oscar watching THE STAR Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is seen on day 10 of his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers Ltd/Pool

Pretoria - Defence advocate, Barry Roux continued his assault of the police conduct on the day that investigators probed Oscar Pistorius' home.

On the stand, enduring the harsh cross-examination was Giliam van Rensburg, the first police officer on the scene less than an hour after Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Roux said that Van Rensburg's observations of the scene are how the court understands the investigation. Van Rensburg then said some of the photos were only taken after certain aspects of the scene, such as the towels, had been moved for investigative purposes.

Earlier on Friday, Van Rensburg had said that one of the phones was only found underneath the towels on the bathroom floor.

But the only photos of the cellphone were after the towel had been moved and Roux said the photo had been mislabelled.

Another image showed the duvet cover found on the bedroom floor, already spread out by investigators.

The main bedroom had also been altered, with the flip-flops next to Steenkamp's side of the bed moving to different positions in various images taken by the police.

He showed him an image of the keys used to lock the front door that showed a small and large key.

He then showed another image of the same set where two large keys were visible, prompting questions around security of these keys that could allow anyone to access the home.

Roux asked what happened to the small door key, but Van Rensburg could not answer.

Roux also pointed out there were nine watches in Pistorius' bedroom, eight in a box, the other elsewhere, and two had gone missing.

Van Rensburg told the court earlier on Friday that he was the one to open the theft case.

Meanwhile, the pictures shown earlier of Pistorius just after the shooting taken by crime scene photographers also returned. Roux said the red tape on Pistorius' shirtless back was from a treatment of a shoulder injury.

Roux mentioned police interviews that spoke of Pistorius' bloody shirt, but in the photos he was not wearing one, and Van Rensburg said he didn't know about it.

When finished his cross-examination, Roux joked that with only half an hour left of the court day, he wanted to find more questions to extend Van Rensburg's stay on the stand.

Gerrie Nel's re-examination was short, with the prosecutor asking about what Van Rensburg had focused on when he entered Pistorius' bloody bathroom.

The former colonel said he focused on the cricket bat, the cellphone, the firearm and then the blood on the ground.

In the bedroom, he had focused on the watches, the trousers on the floor, and the fan operating in the room.

Van Rensburg said the open window in the bathroom was also of note, and how there was no burglar proofing on it.

The cartridges in the passage between the bedroom and bathroom and on the bathroom floor also caught his attention.

Before court adjourned, Roux asked for Van Rensburg's notebook from the date of the shooting.

The trial continues on Monday.

The Star

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