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
Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn