Vermeulen returns to the stand

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IOL pic mar13 oscar leaves court on day eight

Associated Press

Oscar Pistorius (centre) is surrounded by members of the public, court officials, police and media crews as he leaves the North Gauteng High Court on Day 8 of his trial. Picture: Themba Hadebe

Johannesburg -

Day nine of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will see forensic expert Colonel Johannes Vermeulen back in the witness stand.

On Wednesday, he disputed Pistorius’s claim that he was wearing his prosthetic legs when he broke down a locked door to reach his dying girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Vermeulen told the court that the disabled athlete was on his stumps both when he shot at the door and when he battered it down with a cricket bat.

At prosecutor Gerrie Nel's request, Vermeulen demonstrated the angle at which he had to swing the bat to strike the door where it bore a dent made on the night of the shooting.

The mark was 1.53m from the bottom of the door of the toilet cubicle in Pistorius's home in which Steenkamp was shot dead.

Vermeulen was the first policeman to take the stand since Pistorius went on trial last week and pleaded not guilty to the premeditated murder of the model he dated for three months.

His testimony appeared to take Pistorius's defence by surprise, and advocate Barry Roux complained that he felt “ambushed”. - Sapa

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


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