Nel: Expert didn’t read autopsy report

Forensic geologist Roger Dixon faced tough questions on day 23 of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Forensic geologist Roger Dixon testifies at the High Court in Pretoria during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 15 April 2014. Picture: Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Wednesday challenged a main witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

On day 23 of the case in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Nel asked forensic geologist Roger Dixon whether he was indeed an expert on the subjects he was testifying about.

The 27-year-old is accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Sapa.

The athlete also faces two gun-related charges and a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

Pistorius pleaded not guilty to all charges on the first day of his murder trial on 3 March.

Oscar Pistorius reacts during his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on 16 April 2014. Picture: Pool.

Dixon faced a difficult afternoon on the stand with Nel asking him about his expertise in the fields of pathology, forensics and blood spatter.

He spent the morning testifying about the trajectory of the bullets in the toilet cubicle door and the injuries suffered by the Port Elizabeth model.

Forensic expert Roger Dixon.

Nel countered later on, saying Dixon had missed a number of key areas when making his final observations.

"The danger is Mr Dixon, you read until you get an answer. You weren't even at the post-mortem."

The prosecutor then accused Dixon of not reading the full autopsy report.

"You look surprised, you never saw that," Nel said.

"What," said Dixon.

"I just want to put on record you said 'what', am I right? You opened the document and you said 'What', am I right," the prosecutor said.

Dixon told Nel he was only qualified in certain areas.

"I am not a wound ballistics expert, I am not an anatomist or physiologist, or qualified in any medical discipline," Dixon said.

The defence's expert testified about his analysis of fibres found on the door, which he matched to Pistorius's socks, allegedly proving he kicked the structure.

But a comment about how Dixon reached this conclusion caught Nel's attention.

"Mr Dixon, are you saying you saw a photograph of the socks and made the deduction that it's the same fibres. Is that what you're saying?" Nel asked.

Dixon says he never physically handled the socks, but reached his conclusion nonetheless.

It later emerged the expert only had first sight of the fibres stuck to the door when it was erected in court a month ago.

Roux argued that the noise some neighbours believe were gunshots were in fact the bat hitting against the door.

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