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'
News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
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

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits