Prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius trial challenges testimony of sports physician
PRETORIA, South Africa – The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Monday challenged the credibility of a physician who testified that the athlete has an anxious nature linked to his disability.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the defence witness, physician Wayne Derman, could not be objective about the double-amputee runner, who killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home in what he has described as a mistaken shooting. The prosecution says Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet door after an argument.
The defence maintains that Pistorius has a deep sense of vulnerability because of his disability and a fear of crime, and it was a factor in the killing because he opened fire after thinking an intruder was in his house.
Under questioning, Derman acknowledged that his testimony did not amount to a “forensic report” but disputed Nel’s assertion that he could not give credible evidence because he was too familiar with Pistorius, having treated him over many years and travelled with him extensively.
On Sunday, an Australian broadcaster showed video footage of Pistorius participating in a re-enactment of how he says events unfolded on the night he killed Steenkamp. In the video, Pistorius is seen walking on his stumps with an arm outstretched and fist clenched, as though holding a gun. It also shows Pistorius carrying a woman. It is unclear where the re-enactment was filmed.
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The broadcast by Channel Seven prompted criticism from a lawyer for Pistorius who said the re-enactment was made with the help of a U.S.-based company last year as part of the defence team’s trial preparations. The video has not been shown at the trial.