Roux: Missing photos a sign of 'tampering'

The defence accused Barend van Staden of selecting crime scene images from the athlete’s home.

Crime scene photographer Warrant Officer Barend van Staden testifies in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 17 March 2014.

PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius's defence team on Monday questioned why crime scene photographer Barend van Staden did not include some images in his testimony.

The athlete is accused of murdering his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his eastern Pretoria home on 14 February 2013.

Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Carte Blanche.

The Olympian and Paralympian also faces gun-related charges linked to two separate shootings.

The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty on the first day of his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius is escorted into the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 17 March 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

Defence Advocate Barry Roux claims van Staden took a "great number" of images when he arrived at the crime scene shortly before 5am on the day in question.

Advocate Barry Roux on the fourth day of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Pool.

He said the warrant officer did not include as evidence a photograph of the bottom of Pistorius's prosthetic legs or any photos from the garage area.

Roux claimed that the exclusion of some images would point to tampering on the part of police.

But prosecutors denied the defence's claim.

The advocate also scrutinised the way van Staden handled Pistorius on the day of the deadly shooting at the Silver Woods Country Estate.

An overhead view of Silver Woods Estate in Pretoria. Picture: Carte Blanche.

He says when he arrived at the athlete's luxury home, he noticed Pistorius was emotional.

The court also adjourned for a few minutes in order to allow van Staden to collect the original photos, as he had only brought nine images with him.

The crime scene photographer told the court he conducted a primary residue test, even though the athlete had washed his hands.

The matter will resume on Tuesday.

COMPETENCY TEST

Evidence presented in court on Monday proved Pistorius knew and understood the legal implication of using deadly force and the need to identify a potential target before opening fire.

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock at the High Court in Pretoria on 17 March 2014. Picture: Pool.

The prosecution team presented the documents in court on day 11 of the trial.

The so-called Blade Runner completed the competency questionnaire when applying for gun licences prior to the incident in which Steenkamp was killed.

In the test, Pistorius was presented with various scenarios testing his understanding of the legality of using lethal force.

The state said he answered the questions correctly.

The test was conducted by International Firearm Training Academy owner Sean Rens, through whom Pistorius sought to acquire seven firearms, including two assault rifles.

It also emerged the athlete cancelled a R50,000 firearm order a month after he shot and killed Steenkamp.

Rens produced invoices, which included those for two Smith & Wesson revolvers, two pump-action shotguns and a civilian version of the assault rifle used by the police, when he was questioned in court this morning.

An invoice for nearly 600 rounds of ammunition was also given to the court.