Oscar Trial: Professor showed bias, says Nel

FILE PICTURE: Prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Picture: Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool

FILE PICTURE: Prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Picture: Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius’s physician was possibly biased while testifying in the Paralympian’s defence in the High Court in Pretoria, the State said on Thursday.

“What was your brief?” prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked sports and exercise medicine professor at the University of Cape Town, Wayne Derman.

“To detail my experience with Oscar Pistorius and to detail my observations with him and anything that might be relevant…” he told the court.

“Isn’t that the work of a character witness [and] not an expert witness?” Nel asked.

Nel said Derman’s evidence was not that of an expert witness, as the professor had described himself.

Nel said as Oscar Pistorius’s doctor Derman was bound by the Health Professions Council of SA’s regulations to act in his patient’s best interest.

“Is that what you’re doing now?” Nel asked.

“I believe so,” Derman replied.

Nel said if Derman were to be objective, his testimony could harm his patient.

“I disagree. I am not going to come before court [with] a biased report because I have been very careful to back up my report.”

When asked if he would give evidence against Oscar Pistorius, Derman said: “I’m under oath, I have to provide the truth and that is what I’ll do.”

Oscar Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.

He shot her through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. She was struck in the hip, arm, and head.

After firing the shots, Oscar Pistorius used a cricket bat to break open the door to get to a dying Steenkamp.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and to three firearm-related charges.

The State argues he killed her during an argument.



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