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Reeva's post-mortem 'surprises' expert

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned forensic geologist Roger Dixon’s ability to make certain inferences.

Forensic expert Roger Dixon. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Wednesday accused forensic geologist Roger Dixon of making findings without reading Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem report or attending the autopsy.

He made the comments at murder accused Oscar Pistorius's trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

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

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

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.

Nel spent most of Wednesday cross-examining the expert about testimony he gave in court.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Picture: Pool.

Dixon seemed surprised when seeing a section of the autopsy report, which he was unfamiliar with.

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

"What," Dixon mumbled.

"I just want to put on record you said 'what'. Am I right? I want to put it on record," the prosecutor said.

"I didn't hear myself say that, my lady."

"Ok, we'll check the record. I heard it," Nel added.

The state then asked how Dixon, who is a geologist at a lab at the University of Pretoria, could call himself an expert.

"You see how irresponsible it is to make inferences in areas where you're not an expert. It's irresponsible, am I right," Nel asked.

"My lady, I was interpreting the marks that I saw," responded Dixon.

"You interpreted it to fit your case," Nel said.

Gerrie Nel brought up a photograph of one of Reeva Steenkamp's wounds.

Nel, known as the 'bull terrier' in legal circles for his relentless and aggressive line of questioning, pushed Dixon on whether he was qualified to give evidence.

"You were not at the post-mortem, am I right?" Nel quizzed.

"I was not," replied Dixon.

"You are not a wounds ballistics expert," the prosecutor said.

"I'm not a wounds ballistic expert," the witness responded.

"But you willing to say Professor [Gert] Saayman made a mistake," Nel said.

The forensic geologist was unable to produce photographs showing the trajectory of the bullets fired through the door and where projectiles hit the bathroom wall.

Dixon promised to produce the images on Thursday.

The expert witness was also asked about the positioning of Steenkamp's body after he had said she was near the toilet door when the shots were fired.

Nel argued the body would not move back with high velocity bullets.

"It would make no difference. If the bullet, at the velocity it's travelling in, hit somebody, it will not move that person backwards. That's something you see on TV, it's not true," the prosecutor said.

Video: Pistorius's version is improbable.

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