Leaked Video Shows Oscar Pistorius Reenacting Shooting of Girlfriend

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 6 2014 6:08 PM

Leaked Video Shows Oscar Pistorius Reenacting Shooting of Girlfriend

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A still image from the video that aired on Australian television Sunday night

An extraordinary video showing Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius reenacting the 2013 shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was broadcast in Australia Sunday night. The athlete’s legal team said the video was “obtained illegally” by Australia’s Channel 7. The video had apparently been commissioned by the defense team from U.S. company The Evidence Room as part of preparation for the ongoing trial, reports Reuters. In the images that are publicly available online, Pistorius can be seen moving through the house without his prosthetic legs wearing a green Nike vest and black Lycra shorts. The 27-year-old is seen screaming and crying while carrying his younger sister down the stairs. Pistorius has said he shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door thinking she was an intruder.

Australia’s Channel 7 says the footage helped convince “top US forensic investigator Scott Roder” that Pistorius is telling the truth. “If you look at the evidence Oscar’s clearly not guilty,” Roder said. "When he’s on his prosthetics, you know he’s very tall broad-shouldered athletic guy he looks like he can really handle himself … But when he takes his prosthetics off and he’s on his stumps uh he’s short, the confidence washes away from his face."

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The airing of the footage could lead to a mistrial, an expert tells the AFP. "If it was produced by the defense as part of their investigation and preparation for the trial, it's strictly privileged, it's confidential and it can not be used," said Stephen Tuson, an associate law professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. "Whatever you tell your attorney is strictly confidential and privileged, if there's a breach of that, there can be a mistrial."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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