Pistorius video 'unlawful' and 'breaches agreement'
Oscar Pistorius's lawyer says a video showing the paralympian re-enacting the night he shot dead his girlfriend is intended for trial purposes only.
“We wish to make it very clear that the material that has been aired was obtained illegally and in breach of the non-disclosure agreement with ‘The Evidence Room’,” Pistorius’s lawyer, Brian Webber, said in a statement.
“Its usage also constitutes a breach of privilege as this material was produced for trial purposes on the instructions of a commissioner and the ownership of the copyright vests in the commissioner. No permission for the disclosure thereof has been given.”
Webber explained that in October last year, the defence team engaged the services of ‘The Evidence Room’, a United States-based company specialising in forensic animation.
“The company was engaged to visually map the events on the night of the accident. As part of this process, certain video footage was filmed.
“The ‘visual mapping’ was for trial preparation only and was not intended to be used for any other purpose.”
The promotional video by Australia’s Channel 7 programme Sunday Night shows Pistorius walking on his stumps with an imaginary gun in his hand. In another scene, Pistorius is seen carrying a woman, reportedly his sister, out of a bathroom.
The website for the show said the video was “never before seen footage of Oscar Pistorius re-enacting the night he killed Reeva that convinced a top forensic expert he is innocent”.
The video aired in Australia on Sunday.
Webber said Channel 7 had purchased the footage unlawfully.
“In addition, during our engagement with Channel 7, we received an undertaking that they would not air any of the material before the end of the trial.
“Whilst we cannot imagine how any of the footage would not support Oscar’s version, we will only be in a position to comment further once we have had the opportunity to study what has been aired.”
Webber noted that the broadcast constituted a “staggering breach of trust” and an invasion of the family’s privacy.
Pistorius faces a charge of murder. He claims he shot Reeva Steenkamp by accident through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home on February 14 2013, thinking she was an intruder. The state argues he killed her during an argument.
Pistorius testified that he was on his stumps when he shot though the toilet door. However, he said he put on his prostheses before breaking down the door to get to Steenkamp. – Sapa