Van Breda trial: Defence attacks procedures followed to gather evidence

Defence Advocate Mathys Combrinck argues the Standard Operating Procedures were not followed.

FILE: Triple murder accused Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 24 April 2017. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The defence in the Henri van Breda murder trial has argued forensic analysts followed sub-standard procedures when processing the crime scene.

Van Breda is accused of murdering his mother, father and older brother and trying to murder his sister.

He claims a balaclava clad intruder committed the crimes.

The validity of DNA evidence presented in court will be a very important point in this trial.

This week, forensics expert Sharlene Otto testified no foreign DNA was found on the crime scene, casting doubt on van Breda’s version that an unknown intruder killed his family.

On Friday, his defence is attacking the procedures followed when gathering that crucial evidence.

Advocate Mathys Combrinck argues the Standard Operating Procedures were not followed.

He’s shown the court a picture of a female staff member not wearing full safety gear, saying this breach of the personal protective equipment procedure could lead to the contamination of the DNA samples.

But Otto says only someone handling the DNA sample is required to wear the full protective kit and no one can say whether the woman in the picture was fulfilling this role.

Otto has maintained there were no contaminations and the samples were reliable and valid.