Dewani’s lawyer blasts ballistics expert

The defence lawyer tried to poke holes in the state's case by pointing to mistakes in the ballistics report.

Murder accused Shrien Dewani. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - British businessman Shrien Dewani's lawyer has blasted a police ballistics expert on the accuracy of his evidence in the honeymoon murder trial.

Dewani is accused of ordering a hit on his wife Anni Hindocha Dewani during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

She was killed by a single gunshot to the neck during an alleged staged hijacking.

Her body was found in the abandoned car in Khayelitsha.

Police ballistics expert Pieter Engelbrecht organised a re-enactment of how Anni was shot.

He considered different scenarios using a vehicle similar to the hijacked VW Sharan.

The first scenario involved the shooter seated in the front passenger side which is line with the state's case.

The other involved the shooter standing at the rear left door, a scenario put forward by the defence.

During cross examination, defence lawyer Pieter Botha pointed out that the conditions in the test vehicle were different to the original VW Sharan.

He said the position of the front passenger seat in the original taxi was pushed forward and that the test vehicle was also a different model.

The judge then asked whether it was not of the utmost importance to have the exact measurements when trying to come to a conclusion about the shooting, to which the witness conceded that it was.

Dewani's lawyer repeatedly tried to poke holes in the state's case by pointing to apparent mistakes in the ballistics report.

Earlier, Engelbrecht admitted in court that convicted hitman Xolile Mngeni's arms were measured just a day before he died in jail at the weekend.

Engelbrecht looked uncomfortable on the stand while being grilled by Botha.

He testified he took measurements of distances between the seats.

Dewani's murder trial has been postponed to Monday to allow all families affected to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali.

The witness will return to the stand on Monday when cross examination resumes.