“Although Judge Siraj Desai has said enough in court to indicate that he’s unlikely to grant Van Breda leave to appeal on Monday, I’m convinced after reading the defence’s papers that they stand a decent chance of getting a Supreme Court hearing,” said Phelps, also a published researcher who was the legal analyst for CNN during the Oscar Pistorius trial and subsequently a member of his legal team.
“And it’s not unthinkable the Supreme Court could be swayed into acquitting him.”
In June, Desai handed down three life sentences for Van Breda’s murder of his mother, father and brother, 15 years for the attempted murder of his sister and one year for obstructing the course of justice.
Phelps said she was not saying the State had a weak case. “Their argument is strong, but the defence’s is equally so. This case is not as open and shut as the public have been led to believe.” She said to understand the complexity of the trial, it was important to grasp the distinction between circumstantial and direct evidence. “Direct evidence supports the truth of a claim directly. For example, if a witness saw an accused shoot and kill the deceased, this testimony is direct evidence of the guilt of the accused.