Oscar Pistorius trial: South African investigators 'fly to US to search athlete's mobile for deleted data'

Oscar Pistorius will go on trial for shooting and killing Reeva Steenkamp

South African investigators have reportedly flown to America in a bid to retrieve information from Oscar Pistorius' mobile phone ahead of his murder trial in Pretoria next week.

It is understood three senior investigators have requested Apple's help to unlock the athlete's iPhone so it can be analysed and presented in court because the athlete can't remember his Apple ID code.

The information being sought apparently relates to Whatsapp messages and SMS, including allegedly deleted data, received and sent from Pistorius' mobile in the run-up to Reeva Steenkamp's murder on St Valentine's Day last year.

Prosecutors said that two iPhones and two BlackBerrys were found on the bathroom floor where the model was shot.

Nathi Mncube, a spokesperson for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority, confirmed leading investigators flew to the US on Monday and are due to visit Apple's headquarters to gather more evidence.

He added: "We have sent officials who are meeting Apple today with the purpose of unlocking an iPhone.

"With or without this evidence, the trial will still continue on Monday and we feel that we have more than enough evidence regardless, but any evidence we can lay our hands on is critical."

Earlier this week, a South African court ruled the trial can be filmed and broadcast on live television with restrictions. Audio of the entire trial, witness testimonies, closing arguments, judgment and sentencing will be broadcast as part of the landmark ruling.

The broadcast will include a live audio recording of the trial, as well as video footage of the lawyers' opening and closing arguments, the evidence of experts and the fateful final judgment and any subsequent sentencing. Pistorius' testimony and private conversations will not be televised.

The athlete will go on trial for shooting and killing Steenkamp , 29, through the locked door of his bathroom on St Valentine's Day last year. He denies the charges and insists he shot her in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder. Prosecutors argue the murder was premeditated.

Earlier this month, Pistorius broke his silence to reveal he is "consumed" with "pain and sadness" in a statement released to mark the first anniversary of Steenkamp's death.

He said: "No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love Reeva.

"The pain and sadness - especially for Reeva's parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow. The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry, said the family is looking for closure ahead of the trial and confirmed the model's mother will attend the trial in Pretoria next Monday.

More than 100 witnesses are expected to appear in court; including Pistorius' sister, Aimee, former girlfriends Melissa Rom and Samantha Taylor, residents of gated community Silver Woods in Pretoria and a team of medical, ballistic and forensic experts.

The trial is due to start 3 March.

Read more: Oscar Pistorius: Trial to be televised with restrictions
Oscar Pistorius 'surfed porn websites' before Reeva Steenkamp was shot
Oscar Pistorius trial: Paralympic champion 'told security guard everything was fine' after shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp'
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Direct Sales Consultants - OTE £65,000 - £100,000

£65000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national direct sales com...

Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - North West London, £35-40k

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant (ACCA / CIMA, ...

Recruitment Genius: Female Care Team

£11 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A 10 year old girl who has profound an...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore