Channel 7 defends Pistorius footage

Channel 7 says the footage wouldn't have been shown if it had been obtained unlawfully.

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria on 1 July 2014 with his legal team for day 35 of his murder trial. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Australia's Channel 7 has released a statement defending its decision to run a documentary showing Oscar Pistorius re-enacting what happened on the night he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete's attorney Brian Webber said the video was recorded solely for the purposes of trial preparation.

He has slammed its release as a breach of a non-disclosure agreement and added that Channel 7 in Australia bought it illegally.

But producer Mark Llewellyn said the video would not have been shown if the channel had thought it was obtained unlawfully.

"The material shown goes to the heart of both the prosecution/defence cases, including the account provided by Pistorius."

We would not have run the footage if we thought we had obtained it illegally.

The story was run in Australia only and not made available to any other territory."

Channel 7 aired the previously unseen footage yesterday.

It had been recorded by American forensic animation and investigation company, The Evidence Room.

Evidence room chief executive Scott Roder and his team from Ohio were hired in October last year to visually map the events of the morning Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

He said in the documentary that his reconstruction and video material were provided to the Pistorius family and defence team.

The footage shows the athlete briskly walking unaided on his stumps while pretending to hold a firearm and screaming as he did on the morning he killed Steenkamp.

The athlete's sister plays the role of Steenkamp, as she is picked up from a bathroom floor and carried down a flight of stairs.

Pistorius remains calm throughput the re-enactment, in stark contrast to his emotional episodes in court at the mere mention of this sequence of events.

The documentary includes interviews with Steenkamp's friends and family, who say the couple fought a lot in the weeks before the shooting.

At the same time, the athlete's family has described the release of the footage as a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of their privacy.


Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has focused this morning's cross-examination on Pistorius's mobility on his stumps.

Medical practitioner Wayne Derman is testifying about how he asked Pistorius to demonstrate how he moved on Valentine's Day last year when he shot and killed Steenkamp.

Derman said he asked Pistorius to demonstrate how he apparently "runs" because he doesn't believe the double athlete can run on his stumps.

He said due to his disability, Pistorius chose to approach the perceived danger in the bathroom because fleeing without his prosthetic legs wasn't an option.

Derman however couldn't remember if Pistorius held out his hand for balance when demonstrating.

Nel asked if it's possible for Pistorius to run backwards, something seen in the footage leaked at the weekend.

Derman said he hasn't seen him running backwards but that it's possible.

Defence advocate Kenny Oldwage started this morning's proceedings by dealing with an objection which was brought up last week.

Oldwage maintained that Derman referred to Pistorius "running" from something he had read from the record, but didn't say where this took place.

Nel insisted that he did not put forward a misleading question.

Watch: Pistorius trial: 'Disability never sleeps'


Judge Thokozile Masipa has ruled that certain parts Pistorius's psychiatric report may now be published.

Last week, Masipa said only the findings could be published because the report contained intimate information about the double amputee.

Pistorius underwent mental observation at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for 30 days as an outpatient before his murder trial resumed last week.

Judge Masipa ruled that he must be evaluated before the trial could continue after Dr Merryll Vorster, who testified on behalf of the defence, told the court that Pistorius has general anxiety disorder (GAD) and that it may have played a role in his conduct on the night he killed Steenkam p.

However, the psychiatric report revealed that Pistorius did not have a mental defect when he shot and killed Steenkamp at his upmarket Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year, confirming his criminal liability for her death.

Masipa has ordered that the contents of the psychiatric report may be published in terms of the agreement reached between counsel.

She said she was informed on Friday that the defence and counsel for the media had come to an agreement of what exactly could be published.

Get live updates from the trial on EWN's live blog for more background, visit EWN's Oscar Pistorius portal.