South Africa 24.5.2017 11:26 am

Forensic pathologist set to testify on day 17 of Henri van Breda trial

Henri van Breda. Picture: Catherine Rice/ANA

Henri van Breda. Picture: Catherine Rice/ANA

Van Breda faces three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly murdering his mother, father and brother.

State witness Professor Johan Dempers is expected to take the stand on day 17 in the trial against 22-year-old triple murder accused Henri van Breda.

But proceedings were adjourned on Wednesday until 11.30am to give the state and the defence time to consult about the contents of Dempers’ report.

At issue, was the fact that his report refers to the initial statement Van Breda made to police on the afternoon of January 27, 2015.

Defence lawyer Pieter Botha objected to the hearsay and character evidence contained in the report and called for a “compromise” to avoid a trial-within-a-trial to decide on the admissibility of the statement.

“We object to any reference to his statement. A large part of the State’s case is premised on that statement. He wasn’t at any stage warned. It appears clear he was a suspect from the word go. At the very least he should have been warned.”

Van Breda faces three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice for the axe attack that left his mother, father and brother dead. His sister, who was 16 years old at the time, survived the attack.

 

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