Pistorius witness 'tailored' testimony
Advocate Barry Roux accused Darren Fresco of making significant omissions in his testimony.
PRETORIA - Defence lawyers in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Tuesday said state witness Darren Fresco made significant omissions in his testimony.
The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is accused of murdering his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket Pretoria East home on 14 February 2013. Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Carte Blanche.
Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Carte Blanche.
The 27-year-old also faces gun-related charges in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 11 March 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.
Fresco, a mutual friend of Pistorius and Steenkamp, was present at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch when the athlete allegedly discharged a firearm.
The witness was also driving a vehicle when the 'Blade Runner' allegedly shot at a traffic light through the sunroof of a car.
Defence Advocate Barry Roux on Tuesday focused on inconsistencies in Fresco's testimony and claimed the athlete's friend deliberately left out key points.
Barry Roux at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Pool.
Fresco gave his account of events of a 2011 shooting near the Vaal, which aligned with testimony given by Pistorius's ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor.
He told the court that after they were stopped for speeding, the athlete got angry.
"I was driving, Pistorius was in the passenger seat and Sam was in the back seat. Without prior warning, he shot out of the sunroof. Instinctively, I moved over to the right because the noise was in my left ear."
Fresco also gave his testimony about a separate shooting at Tashas.
Pistorius was handling Fresco's firearm when it accidentally went off.
The athlete then allegedly asked him to take the blame for the incident.
Fresco further added being a good friend, he fabricated a story telling the restaurant owners the firearm fell out of his shorts causing it to discharge.
During cross-examination, Roux said Fresco failed to mention he fabricated the story when he made his first statement.
Fresco said he couldn't remember why he left out these facts.
The advocate also said Fresco failed to mention he was only sitting about 30cm away from Pistorius when handing over the firearm or that the athlete said "okay" when he warned him about a bullet in the chamber.
Roux says the inclusion of certain statements in his testimony, like the reference to his firearm's magazine and that he thought Pistorius would check it, were obtained from the testimony of previous witnesses.
Fresco also admitted to following media reports on the case and had seen tweets about previous evidence heard.
Roux then accused Fresco of tailoring his testimony to fill the gaps after hearing previous witness Kevin Lerena's testimony.
Pistorius spent Monday weeping and even vomiting when Pathologist Professor Gert Saayman testified about the extent of Steenkamp's injuries.
State pathologist Professor Gert Saayman. Picture: Gallo Images.
He said the trauma to Steenkamp's head was so severe it was instantaneously incapacitating.
Shortly before Saayman took to the stand, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled in favour of an application for all live broadcasts, including the use of Twitter, be switched off for the duration of the testimony due to the graphic nature of the post-mortem report.
It was an entirely different situation in court on Tuesday as a composed Pistorius took occasional notes.
Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria after the seventh day of his murder trial on 11 March 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.
The matter will resume on Wednesday.
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