News

Australian TV airs Pistorius shooting ‘re-enactment’

Australian TV airs Pistorius shooting ‘re-enactment’

ON TRIAL: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. Photo: Reuters

PERTH/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – An Australian current affairs television program aired footage on Sunday of a re-enactment by Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius of the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

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 journalists.

“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 territory.”

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.

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 actions.

(Reporting by Jane Wardell in Sydney and Ed Stoddard and Pascal Fletcher in Johannesburg; Editing by Paul Tait)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Robin gig has gone to the girls

jenamalone

The superhero sidekick is set for a sex change in the upcoming "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice" film.

in Music

Led Zeppelin plagiarism case to be heard in Pa.

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Led Zeppelin have lost the first round in their plagiarism battle over mega-hit "Stairway to Heaven."

in Viral Videos

If ‘WALL-E’ was a Christopher Nolan film

15-overlay3

Take a look at Pixar's "Wall-E" reimagined as if it was created by the director of "The Dark Knight."

in Entertainment

Jay Leno is the funniest man in America

jayleno

The former "Tonight Show" host received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center Honors.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Too familiar ‘Fury’ misses glory

This photo released by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows Brad Pitt as Wardaddy in a scene from "Fury."

Brad Pitt is fantastic, but Fury can't go out in the blaze of glory it aimed for.