Oscar Pistorius’s legal team is criticizing an Australian broadcaster’s release of footage showing him re-enacting his version of the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
In the video, released Sunday by Channel 7, 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.
Pistorius, 27, has said he fatally shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, through a closed toilet door after thinking there was an intruder in his home. The prosecution says Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp after a Valentine’s Day argument last year.
A lawyer for Pistorius 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 Pistorius’s murder trial, and was not mentioned in court on Monday.
Pistorius’s defence team plans to close its case after its last witness, a physician who has treated the athlete, completed his testimony at the murder trial on Monday, chief defence lawyer Barry Roux said. Roux indicated that he would wrap up on Tuesday morning after final consultations with his team.
“We plan to close the case,” Roux told Judge Thokozile Masipa.
The end of testimony signals a new phase in the months-long trial. It is expected to lead to a break during which the defence and prosecution prepare final arguments as the high-profile legal battle moves toward a conclusion.
Earlier Wednesday, chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the last defence witness, physician Wayne Derman, could not be objective about the double-amputee runner because he was too familiar with the Paralympian, having treated him over many years and travelled with him extensively.
Derman had testified that Pistorius had an anxious nature linked to his disability, bolstering the defence case that the runner’s allegedly deep sense of vulnerability was a factor in the killing because, according to his version, he believed he was under threat.
Under questioning, Derman acknowledged that his testimony did not amount to a “forensic report” but disputed Nel’s assertion that he could not be objective.
Pistorius, who is free on bail, faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder, but he could also be sentenced to a shorter prison term if convicted of murder without premeditation or negligent killing. Additionally, he faces separate gun-related charges.
Pistorius was born without fibulas, the slender bones that run from below the knee to the ankle. His lower legs were amputated when he was 11 months old.
Follow us on Twitter: