With Pistorius' murder trial still underway in South Africa, the
family lawyers of the accused athlete said the "visual mapping"
re-enactment was for trial preparation only and they alleged it had
been "obtained illegally" by Australia's Channel 7, which ran the
video on its Sunday Night program.
"For the family, the airing of this footage constitutes a staggering
breach of trust and an invasion of the family's privacy," the
Pistorius family lawyers, Brian Webber, Ram say Webber Inc., said in
a statement. They said no permission for the disclosure of the
material had been given.
Pistorius' lawyers alleged the usage of the video filmed by a U.S.
company specializing in forensic animation, The Evidence Room, which
had been engaged by Pistorius' defense team, also breached a
non-disclosure agreement made with the Cleveland, Ohio company.
On Monday, Channel 7 declined to respond to questions from Reuters
about how and from whom it had obtained the footage, but said the
report was a "significant investigation" by award-winning
"We would not have run the footage if we thought we had obtained it
illegally," the network said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "The
story was run in Australia only and not made available in any other
The Evidence Room did not reply to requests for comment.
One legal expert in Johannesburg, Professor Stephen Tuson of the
Wits School of Law, said the screening of the re-enactment footage
could be a breach of sub-judice laws that prohibit the publication
outside the courtroom of evidence or material that could influence
the outcome of the trial.
"If this was done in preparation for the trial in the context of
attorney-client confidentiality, it would be privileged and its
publication would be a breach of the sub-judice rule. Its
consequences could be a reviewable irregularity," Tuson said.
Channel 7's Sunday Night program showed double-amputee Pistorius,
without his prosthetic legs, recreating his movements in the St.
Valentine's Day incident last year.
At his murder trial, which opened in early March, Pistorius has said
in his defense that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder in the
toilet of his Pretoria home and killed her accidentally.
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In the Sunday Night footage of the re-enactment, which Channel 7
said had not been presented in court or in public, he is seen
dressed in dark blue shorts and a blue singlet moving forward with
his right arm extended as though pointing a gun.
The Channel 7 footage also shows Pistorius demonstrating how he
found Steenkamp slumped over the toilet after the shooting. With
Pistorius' sister Aimee taking the place of Steenkamp in the
re-enactment, the footage shows him dragging the body from the
bathroom and carrying her down the stairs.
In another piece of footage, he is shown sitting on a dining room
chair, putting on his prosthetics in 25.61 seconds.
Channel 7 said the re-enactment footage was shot at Pistorius'
uncle's house, "some months" after the shooting.
The court heard last week that the athlete was not suffering from a
mental condition when he shot Steenkamp, meaning he had the ability
to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful nature of his
Pistorius' trial is due to resume on Monday.
(Reporting by Jane Wardell in Sydney and Ed Stoddard and Pascal
Fletcher in Johannesburg; Editing by Paul Tait)
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