Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete won't be first defence witness
Oscar Pistorius is no longer expected to be the first witness to take the stand as his defence team prepares to launch their case on Monday.
The athlete's lawyer, Brian Webber, said pathologist Jan Botha is "likely" to be the first witness to be called when the murder trial resumes next week.
Mr Webber told The Associated Press Prof Botha has some "personal difficulties" and it is understood that prosecutors have granted him permission to give evidence first.
Pistorius was expected to kick off the defence's case and explain why he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three times through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day last year.
The athlete has had a week to prepare and rehearse his testimony after Judge Thokozile Masipa postponed proceedings for more than a week due to the illness of one of her legal assistants.
Pistorius doesn't have to testify in his defence but legal experts have indicated his testimony could make or break the prosecution's case. Pistorius was the only witness the night Ms Steenkmap was shot.
"The only question is whether there was intent and intent is subjective," former state prosecutor and now defence lawyer Marius du Toit told AP. "That means the accused must come and dispel that."
The trial has already heard 15 days of prosecution-led testimony from neighbours, forensics, specialist ballistic and evidence taken from mobile phones.
So far, state prosecutors have painted a picture of a gun-loving, possessive and jealous boyfriend who often snapped at Ms Steenkamp and accused her of flirting with other men.
In a text message sent on 27 January, Ms Steenkamp wrote: "I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me". The model said she felt "picked on" and "attacked" by the one person she deserved protection from - referring to the athlete.
Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Steenkamp, claiming he shot the model by mistake thinking she was an intruder in his home. Prosecutors argue he intentionally shot and killed the 29-year old model following a domestic dispute.
There are no juries at trials in South Africa and Pistorius's fate will ultimately be decided by Judge Masipa, assisted by two assessors.
The case continues.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...