'Illegal' Pistorius footage emerges, aired by Australian TV channel

By Aislinn Laing

A still from the leaked video shows Oscar Pistorius - on his stumps - reenacting the night his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was killed. Photo / YouTube
A still from the leaked video shows Oscar Pistorius - on his stumps - reenacting the night his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was killed. Photo / YouTube

Newly released video footage shows Oscar Pistorius participating in a re-enactment of how he says he fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and then carried her out of a toilet cubicle in his home.

Australian broadcaster Channel Seven showed the footage last night, a day before the trial resumes. That prompted criticism from a lawyer for the double-amputee athlete who said the re-enactment was made with the help of a U.S.-based company last year as part of the defence team's trial preparations.

In the video, Pistorius is seen walking on his stumps with an arm outstretched and fist clenched, as though holding a gun. It also shows Pistorius carrying a woman - thought to be his sister. It is unclear where the re-enactment was filmed.

The Paralympian has said he carried Steenkamp after mistakenly shooting her through a closed toilet door because he thought there was an intruder in his home.

The prosecution says he intentionally killed the 29-year-old model after they argued in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013.

In a statement, lawyer Brian Webber said the defence team hired The Evidence Room, a U.S.-based company, "to visually map the events on the night of the accident" and that video footage was filmed as part of that process. The video has not been shown in the trial.

The footage shown by the Australian broadcaster was obtained illegally, Webber said.

"For the family, the airing of this footage constitutes a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of the family's privacy," he said, adding that "we cannot imagine how any of the footage would not support Oscar's version."

A switchboard operator at Channel Seven said their offices were closed and no one was available to comment. The Evidence Room did not immediately return a request for comment.

Pistorius, who is free on bail, faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder. He also faces separate gun-related charges.

-AP

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