Is FBI stalling crucial Pistorius evidence?

Investigators need California-based Apple to help analyse encrypted data on Oscar Pistorius's phone. Picture: AFP.
|
PRETORIA - With three weeks to go until the start of Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial, Eyewitness News can reveal that the athlete’s cellphone has still not been analysed.

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year at his Pretoria home.

While Pistorius says it was a case of mistaken identity, believing Steenkamp was an intruder, the state will argue it was murder when the trial starts on 3 March. 

Eyewitness News understands South African investigators have been battling red tape imposed by America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since submitting a formal request for mutual assistance. 

Investigators need California-based Apple to help analyse encrypted data on the phone, because it’s understood Pistorius claims he can’t remember his Apple ID. 

The police have obtained supporting documents from chief magistrate Desmond Nair and director of public prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi, copies of which were sent to the FBI just three weeks ago.

Reeva Steenkamp, who was allegedly shot dead by former boyfriend Oscar Pistorius on 14 February 2013, was laid to rest in Port Elizabeth on 19 February 2013. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead by former boyfriend Oscar Pistorius on 14 February 2013, was laid to rest in Port Elizabeth on 19 February 2013. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

But an officer close to the investigation says the FBI is now waiting for the original documents before they’re willing to process their request, and initiate contact with Apple.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba told Eyewitness News last week he's confident of a conviction.

Mothiba said the special team investigating the case is ready for trial and has done what he called a ‘very good job’.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)