On the tenth day of Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria, former police officer Col. Schoombie van Rensburg has said he was “furious” when two of the athlete’s watches went missing from the crime scene.
Col Schoombie van Rensburg told the murder trial he ordered his officers to be body-searched for the “expensive” watches, but they were not found.
He also said an officer had handled Oscar Pistorius’ gun without wearing gloves.
Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius denies murder, saying he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder.
The prosecution says he shot Reeva Steenkamp after an argument at his house on February 14, 2013.
Schoombie van Rensburg, who was initially in charge of the crime scene, said that when he first saw the watches he was worried about them and ordered them to be photographed because they “looked expensive”.
After returning to the main bedroom where a team of forensic experts was gathering evidence, he realized one watch, said to be worth as much as $10,000 was missing. He said he was told Oscar Pistorius’ sister Aimee had come into the room and removed it.
After leaving the room again, another watch went missing, so he gave instructions for the police officers and their cars to be searched.
Schoombie van Rensburg said that after that, everyone entering and leaving the scene was thoroughly searched and entered into a log, presented in court.
He described his stunned reaction to the watches’ disappearance: “I said, <<I can’t believe it. We were just there. How can this watch be gone?>>”.
He said he told Oscar Pistorius he should file a complaint, while he opened a case of theft.
The former officer, who retired last year, also told the court he was angry when he saw a ballistics expert handling Oscar Pistorius’ 9mm pistol without any gloves, and told him to put some on.
The admissions call into question the police’s handling of the crime scene, in a case that is likely to hinge on sensitive forensic evidence.
Col. Schoombie van Rensburg also said he saw Oscar Pistorius with blood on his arm, while the court was shown a photograph of the athlete with blood on his shorts.
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