Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Oscar Pistorius; South Africa; This trial may well produce some issues of interest to our readers such as defence allegations of evidence tampering and contamination of the crime scene. The Daily Beast;

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The trial of Oscar Pistorius on one count of premeditated murder, two counts of recklessly discharging a firearm in public, and illegal possession of ammunition is under way in Pretoria. As the following Daily Beast story indicates, there may will be issues of interest to this Blog, including evidence tampering and contamination of the crime scene. I will therefore wade in from time to time if and when warranted.

Harold Levy: Publisher. The Charles Smith Blog.

STORY: "Oscar Pistorius's defence team launches a preemptive strike," published by the Daily Beast on March 3, 2014.

GIST: "On the first day of the Olympic athlete’s trial for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius’s defense team put the first witness through an excoriating cross-examination. South Africa’s trial of the century began in the early hours of Monday morning, as the case against Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his 29-year-old model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, got underway in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa. The 27-year-old double-amputee, who shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges brought against him:one count of premeditated murder, two counts of recklessly discharging a firearm in public, and illegal possession of ammunition. If convicted of the first charge, Pistorius could be sentenced to life in prison. Pistorius’s defense, led by his notoriously truculent advocate Barry Roux, initiated court proceedings with a highly detailed plea explanation that not only reiterated, emphatically, Pistorius’s claim that he did not intend to kill his girlfriend but also, in what seems to be something of a preemptive strike, itemized and contested what the defense believed would be the state’s strategic approach. This also included a vituperative assault on the state’s treatment of the case thus far, including accusations of contaminating the scene, conceding facts and evidence tampering, as well as what the defense claims is “inadmissible character evidence” that has been “entered to engineer an assassination of [Pistorius’s] character.”,..........Roux’s relentless effort to discredit and unnerve Burger during cross-examination suggests that a lot of the defense’s attempt to provide reasonable doubt will hinder on two important factors: Sounds—the screams, shots and banging noises heard by witnesses on the night of the murder—and semantics. The former complicates the issue due to the fact that, because there are no actual eye-witnesses beyond Pistorius, court testimony will focus on what distant neighbors allegedly heard, and when the outcome hinges on something as precarious as the fine line between the sound of cricket bat banging on a door versus a gun shot, the statements could be particularly vulnerable to disputation."
The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

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The Toronto Star, my  previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.