Leaked video footage of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius re-enacting the moment he shot Reeva Steenkamp aired on Australian television last night. It is believed the video was commissioned by the defence team ahead of Oscar’s trial. The athlete’s family lawyers, Ramsay Webber, have condemned the footage, claiming that it had been “obtained illegally”.
The unsettling footage shows 27-year-old Pistorius running on his stumps with his hand outstretched like a gun. In another scene he struggles to carry the body of a motionless woman out of a bathroom. He is also timed putting on his prosthetics, which takes him 25 seconds, and later he is shown carrying the same motionless woman down the stairs.
A company called Evidence Room, who specialise in forensic animation, were allegedly behind the camera. It is not yet known how Channel Seven obtained the tape. A statement from one of Pistorius’ lawyers, Brian Webber, said: “We wish to make it very clear that the material that has been aired was obtained illegally and in breach of the non-disclosure agreement with the Evidence Room.” He went on to say: “For the family, the airing of this footage constitutes a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of the family’s privacy.”
There is speculation that this footage could breach South Africa’s sub-justice rule, which protects attorney-client confidentiality. Evidence that could influence the outcome of the trial is prohibited from being shown outside the courtroom.
Executive Producer, Mark Lkewellyn, said in a statement that he believed Channel 7 were not in breach of any laws. “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. The material shown on Sunday Night goes to the heart of both the prosecution and defence cases, including the account provided by Oscar Pistorius.”
Pistorius is accused of deliberately murdering 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp of Valentine’s Day last year. The athlete claims he thought she was an intruder, and fired the shots through a locked bathroom door in panic.
Main image: Sunday Night/Channel Seven