Police Handling of Crime Scene Questioned at Pistorius Trial

Image: Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Colonel Schoombie van Rensburgin in court on Friday.PHILL MAGAKOE / Pool via EPA

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Oscar Pistorius' defense lawyer on Friday attempted to discredit the testimony of one of the first police officers who arrived at the crime scene.

Speaking on day 10 of Pistorius’ murder trial, defense lawyer Barry Roux grilled Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, a retired detective who was at the scene, and suggested that details he gave about the incident clashed with those of other officers.

Colonel Schoombie van Rensburgin in court on Friday.PHILL MAGAKOE / Pool via EPA

At one point Roux showed the witness, van Rensburg, a picture of a door in Pistorius' house and then the same 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 which appeared 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.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Feb. 14 last year. He denies this and says he shot her by mistake because he thought she was an intruder.