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Oscar trial: Nel questions recording expert’s experience

It is not known whether the music producer who recorded the gunshot and cricket bat tests presented as evidence in Oscar Pistorius's trial has any experience in such, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned defence witness Roger Dixon on whether the producer had any experience in recording explosions and gunshots.

“I have no idea,” Dixon responded.

The recordings formed part of the evidence Dixon gave in court. One was of a cricket bat hitting a wooden door. The other was that of gun shooting through a door.

As Dixon was cross-examined, he revealed this was the second gun test that had been done. The first had been unsuccessful as the gun kept jamming.

Nel question Dixon, a qualified geologist, on whether he had heard a recording of the noises made that night.

“To the best of my knowledge, I have never heard a recording where the sequences of the noise made that night were edited,” he said.

After having his integrity, qualifications, and evidence scrutinised, Dixon sat down in the witness box and held on to his water bottle. Shortly thereafter he stood up and continued his testimony.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Dixon said fibres he had seen on the door most probably came from the sock Pistorius wore over his prosthetic leg when he tried to kick down the door after shooting through it.

But, Dixon said he had never seen the sock, nor taken a sample of it.

“There was no need to take a sample,” he said.

Since beginning his cross-examination, Nel has questioned Dixon’s integrity.

This was after Dixon told the court he was not present when the ballistic experts conducted the gunshot test which he testified about.

“Why would you identify gunshots if you weren’t there?” Nel asked him.

“It’s a serious issue to identify gunshots when he was not there,” Nel told Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Dixon said this was because he recognised the sound of gunshots.

He said he was there and had personally conducted the cricket bat tests against the door.

He used the bat to bang on a meranti door, the same one Pistorius fired through, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder in the locked toilet cubicle of his Pretoria townhouse. Afterwards he broke the door down with his cricket bat to get to Steenkamp.

Pistorius is charged with murdering her.

Neighbours have testified to hearing two sets of sounds from Pistorius’s townhouse, one apparently the shots, the other possibly the sound of the cricket bat striking the door.

The gunshot and cricket bat tests were not conducted on the same day, the court heard.

Since stepping into the witness box on Tuesday, Dixon has testified on several aspects of the case, including the bullet wounds and wood splinter injuries Steenkamp sustained.

Earlier, Nel questioned Dixon’s expertise, asking what qualifications he had in sound and ballistics.

The State argues Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp during an argument. He is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.

He has denied guilt on all the charges.

– Sapa

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Oscar Trial Reeva Steenkamp murder

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