Police photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius with his prosthetic legs and shorts covered in blood, taken shortly after the athlete shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, were shown to the court in his murder trial Friday.
The images were taken by a police photographer at the scene and showed the muscled double-amputee paralympian clenching his fists in his home during the early hours of Feb. 14 last year after the shooting happened.
Judge Thokozile Masipa was also shown images of Steenkamp's dead body, including close-up photographs of the gunshot wound to her head. While the images of Pistorius were visible in open court on display monitors, the most graphic photographs were kept in folders and intended to be viewed only by the judge and lawyers.
However, the images were reportedly visible in the public gallery as lawyers flicked through the files. On Thursday photographs of Steenkamp's body were accidentally shown on the court's monitors, causing Pistorius to vomit.
Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Steenkamp, in the upstairs bathroom of his home after a loud argument. He denies this and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. He says he shot her by mistake because he thought she was an intruder.
In the opening exchanges of day 10 of the trial in Pretoria, South Africa, prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel talked through the photographs with witness Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, a former detective who was one of the first policemen on the scene.
Van Rensburg said the bathroom window was "too high" for a possible intruder to climb through.
The police investigation came under fire during the cross examination of van Rensburg, by Pistorius' defense lawyer Barry Roux who attempted to discredit his testimony by comparing it to those of other officers which appeared to contain contradictory details.
At one point Roux showed the witness a picture of a door in Pistorius' house and then another picture that showed the door covered in police tape. He asked the former officer to point out differences between the two images but van Rensburg could not.
Roux asked: "How do you feel about your ability to observe?" To which van Rensburg replied quietly: "average," before complaining to the judge that the two photos had not been shown side by side.
Roux also read out statements from other officers appearing to contradict van Rensburg's testimony that he had arrived at the scene before them.
To this, the retired policeman said that all police vehicles were fitted with trackers, which Roux was welcome to check.
- Alexander Smith