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Teachers' Strike Possible If Talks Break Down

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 19 April 2014 | 18.25

By Emma Birchley, Sky News Correspondent

Teachers are considering a fresh walkout just weeks after strike action forced schools across England and Wales to close.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) meeting for their annual conference today will debate the possibility of industrial action next term unless "significant progress" is made in talks with the Government.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: "We have a motion that's going to be put to delegates which envisages industrial action in late June if we don't make progress in the talks with the Government in May.

"But the first priority is for a minister to actually come to those talks and we'd like to make progress on a list of things."

That list includes performance-related pay due to be introduced from September, heavy workloads and pensions.

The national walkout on March 26 saw 12% of schools shutting their doors, according to the Government, but thousands more were disrupted.

Any further strike action would be held in the week starting Monday, June 23 after the majority of GCSEs and A Level exams are over. However, some exam boards have papers scheduled for that week.

Teachers gathering for the conference called on Education Secretary Michael Gove to listen to their concerns.

"Certainly I will be thinking about voting to strike," said one. "Where I work people are concerned about the work loads, targets and the pressure Government puts on teachers."

TEACHERS STRIKE Last month's national walkout organised by the NUT

Another told Sky News: "If Mr Gove would just listen to us and negotiate with us then strike action wouldn't go forward but he has to listen to us."

A poll commissioned by the NUT shows that two thirds of parents support teachers' right to strike.

But for the Lamberti family it smacks of double standards.

Mother-of-two Clare Lamberti said: "We applied for a day's holiday to take the girls away for the weekend and they turned it down.

"They said it would disrupt their education but obviously a day here and a day there for strikes, that's going to disrupt their education.

"One rule for them ... one rule for us obviously."

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) is also holding its conference this weekend.

Both unions will be discussing concerns over the growing number of unqualified teachers taking classes.

Of 7,000 teachers surveyed, 53% told the NASUWT they worked alongside unqualified staff. That rose to 61% in academies.

But in a separate poll by the NUT, 82% of parents said schools should only employ qualified teachers.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Missing Plane Search 'Could Take 5 to 7 Days'

By Nick Martin, News Correspondent, in Perth

Australian officials supervising the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have said that an underwater search for the black box recorder based on "pings" possibly from the device could be completed in five to seven days.

It comes as search teams say the submarine currently scanning the ocean floor remains "the best lead" in finding the plane.

The US Navy-operated Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has now covered an area of 82 square miles (133 sq km) and has completed six missions.

But its sonar scanners have detected nothing, Sky News understands.

Handout of crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield moving the U.S. Navy?s Bluefin-21 into position for deployment, in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 The Bluefin-21 submersible has already carried out six descents

After nearly six weeks without any sign of the plane, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular 6.2-mile (10km) area around the location where one of the pings thought to come from the missing flight's black box was detected earlier this month.

The submersible is likely to take up to a week to cover the refined search area.

The Bluefin-21 has now started its seventh descent to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

It takes two hours for the unmanned submersible to travel more than 4,500m to the seabed where it spends 16 hours at a time using sonar scanners to map the ocean floor. Data is then downloaded at the surface.

Chinese MSA vessel Hai Xin 01 is seen from a RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean, as the search continues for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 The Chinese ship Hai Xin 01 conducts a search in the southern Indian Ocean

No sign of the plane has been picked up, said search officials based in Perth, Australia.

"Overnight, Bluefin-21 AUV completed mission six in the underwater search area. Data from the sixth mission is currently under analysis. No contacts of interest have been found to date," said an official.

"This is the best lead we have in the search for missing flight MH370."

Hishammuddin Hussein, acting Malaysia Transport Minister, told a news conference on Saturday: "The immediate search area that the Bluefin-21 is scouring should be completed within the next week.

"All efforts will be intensified in the next few days in regards to the search."

The underwater hunt is complicated by the depth of the largely unexplored sea floor. The US Navy's unmanned sub has already gone beyond its recommended limit of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet).

Malaysia flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 bound for Beijing. But an hour into the flight it disappeared from radar. There were 239 people on board, mostly Chinese citizens.

Some families of those on board refuse to believe the aircraft crashed into the sea and have instead denounced the search effort as a cover-up.

Up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships are assisting the search over the long Easter bank holiday weekend. The total search area is 31,000 square miles (50,200 sq km), across three areas.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

South Korea Ferry Disaster Captain's Apology

The captain of a ferry that capsized off the coast of South Korea leaving more than 200 children dead or missing has apologised to the families of the victims.

In a televised address with his head bowed, Lee Joon-Seok said he had delayed the order to abandon the Sewol because he thought the sea was too cold and that the passengers, mostly children, would "drift away".

South Korea's coast guard found another three bodies on Saturday morning, bringing the confirmed death toll to 32. More than 270 passengers in total are still missing.

A member from the South Korean Navy's SSU dives into the sea off Jindo A member from the South Korean Navy's SSU dives into the sea off Jindo

Divers trying to find the missing have seen more bodies inside the submerged vessel but have been unable to reach them. 

The discoveries of the bodies came as it emerged the third mate steering the ferry at the time of the accident was navigating the waters for the first time.

Senior prosecutor Yang Jung-jin told reporters that the officer, a 25-year-old woman, was steering the ship as it passed through an area with lots of islands clustered close together and fast currents.

South Korean diver rests in the water during the rescue operation of the capsized passenger ship "Sewol", in the sea off Jindo Divers say they have seen bodies through the windows of the sunken ship

Mr Yang said that another mate usually took controls through the area but, because heavy fog caused a departure delay, the third mate was steering.

The 69-year-old captain, described as an industry veteran by the ship's owners and an "expert" by others, was arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need.

Investigators are looking into whether Lee's evacuation order came too late to save lives. Two crew members have also been arrested for failing in their duty to assist passengers.

Oh Yong-Seok, a helmsman on the ferry, said when the crew sent a distress call, the ship was already listing more than five degrees.

A family member of a missing passenger who was on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at sea cries as she waits for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo A family member of a passenger waits for news from rescue teams in Jindo

About half an hour later, Lee finally gave the order for the passengers to abandon ship, according to Mr Oh.

Investigations are also focusing on whether problems with cargo stowage and structural defects of the vessel might have led to the ship capsizing.

Addressing journalists, Lee said: "I am sorry to the people of South Korea for causing a disturbance and I bow my head in apology to the families of the victims.

"I gave instructions regarding the route, then I briefly went to the bedroom and then it happened.

"At the time, the current was very strong, temperature of the ocean water was cold, and I thought that if people left the ferry without (proper) judgement, if they were not wearing a life jacket, and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other difficulties.

"The rescue boats had not arrived yet, nor were there any civilian fishing ships or other boats nearby at that time. There was a mistake on my behalf as well but the steering (gear of the ship) turned further than it was supposed to."

Lee was speaking as divers searching for some 200 missing people say they looked through a window of the ship and saw three bodies inside the sunken vessel but were unable to retrieve them.

No sounds have been heard from the hull which has now disappeared under the water. Rescuers say hopes of finding survivors are fading.

The number of passengers confirmed dead currently stands at 28.

Some 325 passengers were students from Danwon High School near Seoul.

They were on a school trip making a 13-hour journey to the holiday island of Jeju.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Vice-Principal Rescued From Ferry Found Hanged

Written By andika jamanta on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 18.25

S Korea Ferry: Final Contact From Doomed Vessel

Updated: 11:59am UK, Friday 18 April 2014

A transcript of communications between the stricken Sewol ferry and the coastguard has lifted the lid on the final minutes before the order was given to abandon ship.

The conversations show panic setting in on board the vessel, with officers asking for help to "please come quickly" as it began to tilt to the left, three hours from its destination of Jeju Island.

The transcript also appears to back up claims that the evacuation order may have come too late for some passengers as officers said the ship was tilting so much it was "impossible to move" to check on them.

The communication, which begins with the first distress call made by the ferry on Wednesday morning, has been translated by The Associated Press.

It reads:


Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of The Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Centre (VTS): Yes, Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Please notify the coastguard. Our ship is in danger. It's listing right now.


Jeju VTS: Where's your ship? Yes, got it. We will notify the coastguard.

Sewol: This ship has listed a lot. Can't move. Please come quickly. We're next to Byeongpung Island.

Jeju VTS: Yes, we got it.


Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Do you have reception? Sewol, harbour affairs Jeju.


Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, this is Sewol.

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Channel 21, please.


Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Jeju, Sewol here.

Jeju VTS: What's the current situation?

Sewol: Currently the body of the ship has listed to the left. The containers have listed as well.

Jeju VTS: OK. Any damage of the human life?

Sewol: It's impossible to check right now. The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, OK. Please wear life jackets and prepare as the people might have to abandon ship. 

Sewol: It's hard for people to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, got it.


Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju VTS: Yes, this is harbour affairs Jeju, Sewol.

Sewol: What's going on with the coastguard?

Jeju VTS: Yes, we have notified the coastguard. Currently we are calling Jindo VTS and Wando VTS. Please hold for a moment.

After this, Jeju VTS notified other ships and Wando VTS.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Family Learns Of Brit's Syria Death On Facebook

The family of a Brighton teenager, who has died in Syria, found out about his death on Facebook.

The parents of Abdullah Deghayes, who live in Saltdean, near the south coast city, thought he was visiting family in Libya.

The 18-year-old's father, Abubaker Deghayes, said: "At the moment we don't have any details. We found out on Facebook.

"I hope he died for a noble cause, trying to help Syria, I need to find out. I might go and travel and see.

"He was a youngster who didn't communicate a lot. With parents, once they grow, they don't tell you much about their lives."

The circumstances of the teenager's death remain "unclear", police in the UK have said.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are aware of the death of a British national and are urgently looking into it."

The student is the nephew of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan. He was released without charge.

The situation in Syria is currently so volatile the UK does not have a representative there, making it difficult to establish the facts.

The government currently advises against all travel to Syria and says it cannot offer consular services.

Rebel fighters cover ears as fellow fighter prepares to fire anti-aircraft weapon in Heesh village in Idlib The Syrian civil conflict has been raging for more than three years

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "On Monday, April 14, we received information that an 18-year-old Brighton man had been killed in Syria in recent weeks.

"The circumstances of this reported death remain unclear and we are in contact with the family."

The teenager's Facebook page says he was a student at Longhill High School, at Rottingdean, near Brighton.

It adds that he intended to be a University of Brighton student from 2015 and works for Adidas.

Messages on Mr Deghaye's Facebook page suggest he left the UK in February and may have been going to Libya.

On April 4, messages were posted saying "may God protect him".

As news of his death in Syria emerged, friends posted tributes on social networking sites.

Finn Langford said: "Feels so weird that your actually gone rip Abdullah Deghayes gone but never forgotten sleep tight mate xxx."

Harry Hall posted: "Never forgett you brother, love ya."

Louise Tierney said: "Miss you like mad! Love you mate forever in my heart."

Nezar El-bayouk posted on Twitter: "R.I.P. To My Boy Abdullah Deghayes. Jannah InshAllah!"

Another woman, Miss'Newland, posted: "R.I.P this is such a shock, can not get my head around it. Everyone's gonna miss you Abdullah Deghayes. much love xxx"

Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, many of them to join the civil war, with an estimated 20 having died.

The Foreign Office website says: "British nationals in Syria should leave now by any practical means."

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Arrest Warrant Sought For Capsized Ferry Captain

Prosecutors have asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for the captain of the South Korean ferry which sank with 475 passengers on board.

Two other crew members are also being sought after the court appeal on Friday.

It comes as it emerged the captain of the ferry was not at the helm of the ship when it capsized, according to investigators.

The third officer was understood to be piloting the ship when the tragedy occurred, an investigating prosecutor told a news conference, and the captain may not even have been on the bridge at the time.

Family members of missing passengers who were on a South Korean ferry which capsized on Wednesday, wait for news of their family at a gym in Jindo Family members of missing passengers wait for news at a gym in Jindo

Investigators are also looking at whether the third officer ordered the vessel to make an abrupt turn, which caused it to tilt severely and take on water, according to prosecutor Park Jae-Eok.

"He may have been off the bridge... and the person at the helm at the time was the third officer," the investigator said.

"The captain was not in command when the accident took place," he added.

It has also been revealed the captain, Lee Joon-Seok, 68, delayed evacuation for half an hour after the distress signal was sent, leading some to suggest more lives could have been saved had he acted sooner.

Crane arrival A crane arrives at the scene

Oh Yong-Seok, a helmsman on the ferry with 10 years of shipping experience, said when the crew gathered on the bridge and sent a distress call, the ship was already listing more than five degrees - the critical angle at which a vessel can be brought back to even keel.

About half an hour after passengers were told to stay where they were, Mr Lee finally gave the order to abandon ship, according to Mr Oh.

He added he was unsure in the confusion on the bridge if the order was relayed to the passengers.

Several survivors have said they did not hear any evacuation orders.

By the time the order was given, it was impossible for crew members to move to passengers' rooms to help them because the ship was tilted at an impossibly acute angle, he said.

Captain of sunken ferry Lee Joon-seok Lee Joon-Seok was not at the helm when the ship began listing

It has been suggested the evacuation delay also prevented lifeboats from being deployed in time.

Meanwhile, a crane that will be used to try to salvage the ferry has arrived at the accident site.

The confirmed death toll from the sinking of the Sewol is 25, but that number is expected to rise sharply with about 270 people still missing. Officials have so far confirmed only 179 survivors.

Some 325 of the passengers were students from Danwon High School near Seoul.

Of the 29 crew members, 20 people including Mr Lee survived.

Family members of passengers onboard the capsized South Korean ferry Sewol cry during a Buddhist ritual in Jindo Anxious relatives take part in a Buddhist ritual

After the tragedy, he made a brief, videotaped appearance, although his face was hidden by a grey hoodie.

He said: "I am really sorry and deeply ashamed. I don't know what to say."

Divers are working in shifts to try get into the upturned ship to pump oxygen into the vessel to help any survivors, but their attempts are being hampered by strong currents and freezing temperatures.

The 146-metre (480ft) ship had left Incheon on the northwestern coast of South Korea on Tuesday for the overnight journey to the southern resort island of Jeju.

It was three hours from its destination on Wednesday morning when it began to list for reasons unknown.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ferry Disaster: Hopes Of Finding Survivors Fade

Written By andika jamanta on Kamis, 17 April 2014 | 18.26

Rescue teams are battling bad weather conditions as they search for around 290 people who remain missing after a South Korean ferry capsized and sank.

Nine people have already been confirmed dead and the death toll is expected to increase sharply in what could be the country's worst maritime accident in two decades.

The dead include a female teacher, a female member of the crew and three male school students, while the majority of those who remain unaccounted for are from the same school field trip.

South Korean Coast Guard and rescue teams search for missing passengers at the site of the sunken ferry off the coast of Jindo Island. Many of those on board the ferry were school students

So far 179 people have been rescued - among them Kwon Ji-yeon, a six-year-old girl whose parents are still on the missing list.

Strong currents and bad visibility hampered the search as rescue teams hammered on the Sewol's hull, hoping in vain for a response.

The ferry's captain, 69-year-old Lee Joon-seok, faces a criminal investigation, a coastguard official told Reuters, amid unconfirmed reports that he was one of the first to jump to safety 

South Korea. The ferry got into trouble on its journey to Jeju

A man identified by broadcaster YTN and news agency Yonhap as Mr Yoon has appeared on television, his face covered by a grey hoodie.

"I'm really sorry and deeply ashamed," he said, as he was being questioned at the Mokpo coastguard.

Video footage has emerged showing passengers in life jackets as the boat began to sink and of a tannoy message asking people to stay where they are as it would be dangerous to move.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye looks around the site where the Sewol ferry sank and rescue operations are taking place, from a ship in the sea off Jindo South Korean Park Guen-hye surveys the search area from a ship

Crew member Oh Yong-seok, 58, said the captain waited about 30 minutes before ordering the evacuation because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilise the vessel after it started to list.

By the time the evacuation order was made, it was impossible for crew to reach passengers because the ship was tilted at such an acute angle.

"We couldn't even move one step. The slope was too big," said Oh, who escaped with about a dozen others, including the captain.

Passenger Koo Bon-hee, 36, told reporters many people were trapped inside by windows that were too hard to break.

Family members of missing passengers who were on South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo, wait for news of their family from a rescue team, at a gym in Jindo. Distraught relatives wait for news in a gym on Jindo Island

Distraught family members are gathered on the quay of Jindo Island, huddled in blankets against the cold as they wait for any news.

"If I could teach myself to dive, I would jump in the water and try to find my daughter," Park Yung-suk told the Reuters news agency.

Some relatives have turned their anger on the government and coast guard, shouting at officials: "The weather's nice, why aren't you starting the rescue?"

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who said there was not "a minute or a second to waste", had water thrown at him when he visited the port. 

South Korean Coast Guard and rescue teams search for missing passengers at the site of the sunken ferry off the coast of Jindo Island. Coast Guard and rescue teams searching for missing passengers

The ship set sail from the port of Incheon on Tuesday carrying 475 passengers, nearly 340 of them teenagers and teachers from the Danwon school near the capital Seoul.

Its destination, along a well-travelled route, was Jeju island around 60 miles (100km) south of the Korean peninsula.

It is not clear why the 6,586 tonne vessel, which was built in Japan 20 years ago, sank in apparently calm waters.

However, some survivors spoke of hearing a loud noise before disaster struck.

State broadcaster YTN quoted investigation officials as saying the ship was off its usual course after being hit by strong winds, which caused containers stacked on deck to shift.

The registered owner of the ship, Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, has offered an apology but declined to comment further.

18.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ferry Disaster: Desperate Texts During Sinking

Teenagers on the stricken South Korean ferry sent heartbreaking messages to their families as it capsized and sank.

Mobile phone footage and messages from passengers suggest they were advised to stay where they were as they vessel listed severely to one side.

But the advice may have effectively sealed the fates of many of those on board, making escape impossible as the ferry sank into the icy depths.

One 18-year-old student messaged his mother on the KakaoTalk messaging app at 9.27am (00.27am GMT)  - shortly after the ferry sent its first distress call.

He wrote: "Mum, I'm sending this because I might not be able to say it later. I love you."

Seven minutes later his mother - unaware of the trouble the vessel was in - replied: "Why? ... I thought you don't check your KakaoTalk messages.

"Me too son... I love you."

There are reports that the young man involved may be one of the lucky 179 survivors rescued before the ship capsized and went under the water.

Vessels involved in salvage operations are seen near the upturned South Korean Sewol ferry in the sea off Jindo The search has been hampered by high winds and choppy sea conditions

Another student sent a series of messages to friends in a theatre club just after 9am.

He wrote: "Hey really seriously.

"Love you all for real.

"Looks like we really are gonna die.

"No really the ship's tilting.

"You guys really.

"If I've wronged any of you. Forgive me."

A female passenger, also 18, messaged her father at around 10am (1am GMT) as the ship started to sink.

She wrote: "Dad don't worry too much. I am wearing a life vest and am with other girls."

South Korea Ferry Survivors Search Continues Relatives of passengers have been desperately hoping for good news

A few minutes later, as the situation deteriorated, she added: "I can't. It's too tilted. Can't move ... it's more dangerous if I move."

Her distraught father wrote back, urging her to try to get out, but it was already too late.

"Dad, I can't. The ship is too tilted. The hallway is crowded with so many people," she responded in a final message.

At 9.23am a 16-year-old called Kim Woong-Ki texted his older brother saying: "Brother, I'm riding a ship to Jeju Island and the ship hit something and it can't move."

After he was asked how bad the damage was, he said: "I don't know about that, since I'm inside. I don't have good coverage and just now the Coast Guards arrived."

The teenager's brother replied: "The rescue will arrive soon. Don't panic. Be calm and strong. You just need to move quickly as instructed. When you have coverage contact me again."

An icon on the brother's phone shows that his last message was not read and Kim was listed among almost 290 unaccounted for.

Some parents managed a last, traumatic phone call with their children as they tried to escape.

"He told me the ship was tilted over and he couldn't see anything," one mother recalled of a panicked conversation with her student son.

"He said 'I haven't put on the life jacket yet', and then the phone went dead," the mother told the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.

18.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial Evidence 'Wrong'

Oscar Pistorius was "wrong" in his version of events about what happened on the night he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the prosecution has claimed.

During cross-examination by lawyer Gerrie Nel, forensic expert Roger Dixon appeared to contradict what the athlete told the court about the position of a magazine rack in the bathroom.

In a graphic photograph showing a pool of Ms Steenkamp's blood around the toilet bowl, the witness, whose expertise was heavily criticised by Mr Nel during questioning on Wednesday, pointed out a rectangular-shaped mark.

Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp Mr Nel, who grilled Pistorius for five days, is quizzing a forensic expert

He said this shows the magazine rack was in the position it appeared in in a police photograph, something Pistorius rejects.

Mr Nel told Mr Dixon: "Remember when I asked whether the accused's version was correct? You have now showed us the accused's version was wrong."

The claim was made on the 25th day of Pistorius' trial - the last before a two-week break for the Easter holidays.

Oscar Pistorius trial

As Mr Nel continued his attempt to identify inaccuracies in the defence case, Mr Dixon admitted he did not measure the angles of any specific bullet holes in the bathroom door.

As the witness held up one of Pistorius' prosthetic legs, he also revealed he did not check whether varnish from the door the athlete kicked down to reach his girlfriend could have come from contact with other doors in the house.

Mr Dixon was previously branded "irresponsible" by Mr Nel, who accused him of addressing the court without having properly read a post-mortem report about Ms Steenkamp's death.

Oscar Pistorius murder trial Pistorius covered his ears as the court heard about Ms Steenkamp's injuries

Pistorius, 27, admits shooting his partner but denies a charge of premeditated murder, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.

The athlete lowered his head and clasped his hands around his ears as further details about Ms Steenkamp's injuries were read to the court.

Mr Dixon said the shock of the first bullet fired through the bathroom door may have caused her to twist and fall.

Reeva Steenkamp Ms Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius' home on Valentine's Day last year

He told the court a further bullet hit Ms Steenkamp's head as she slumped to the floor, hitting her back on the magazine rack as she did so.

On Wednesday, Mr Dixon said a bullet that struck the model's arm caused such serious damage it was like "an instant amputation".

The day began with a stark warning from Judge Thokozile Masipa to people watching the case in an adjoining 'overspill' room, who she said clamber over benches and "cheer, boo and do what they like".

Put your questions on the Oscar Pistorius trial to Sky's Martin Brunt

"Something disturbing has come to my attention," she said.

As well as premeditated murder, Pistorius, who won two gold medals at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012, denies two further counts related to shooting a gun in public on separate occasions prior to the killing.

The trial is scheduled to resume on May 5.

18.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pistorius Trial: Reeva Bullet Wound Evidence

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 16 April 2014 | 18.25

Pistorius' Team To Highlight Police 'Errors'

Updated: 2:42am UK, Wednesday 16 April 2014

By Emma Hurd, Sky News Correspondent, in Pretoria

It felt like a dramatic climax to the murder trial, but Oscar Pistorius' testimony and cross examination in the witness box was just the start of the defence's case.

The athlete's lawyers still have about a dozen witnesses to call as they try to challenge the prosecution's charge that the runner shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, deliberately.

Already, we have seen one expert witness, Roger Dixon, who has suggested the neighbours who gave evidence for the prosecution were mistaken in what they heard. 

A recording of a cricket bat hitting a door was played in the courtroom, the bangs ringing out like bullets as Pistorius covered his ears.

The defence wants to show that the neighbours who said they heard a woman screaming as shots were fired must have heard the athlete screaming as he broke down the toilet door to reach Ms Steenkamp after shooting her by mistake.

The defence is expected to call other neighbours - who lived closer to Pistorius - to show they heard noises consistent with the runner's account of the shooting.

We can also expect an array of experts in the field of crimescene investigation to argue the police misinterpreted and contaminated evidence. 

The "unreliability" of the state's forensic evidence is a key part of Oscar Pistorius' defence.

Unlike the prosecution, the defence does not have to provide a full list of potential witnesses, so we do not yet know if the athlete's friends or relatives will be called to testify about his character or his relationship with Ms Steenkamp. 

Both issues were stressed repeatedly by the defence during his time in the witness box. 

Defence advocate Barry Roux has been keen to portray Pistorius as a man with an overwhelming fear of crime whose disability added to his sense of vulnerability. 

This is important as the athlete has used his "fear" as his explanation for the shooting - saying he was convinced an intruder or intruders had broken into his house. 

The state of his relationship is also a crucial element in the defence's case, particularly after the prosecution claimed Ms Steenkamp was scared of Pistorius and he shot her deliberately after an argument.

The state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, whose fierce cross examination of Pistorius caused the athlete to contradict and confuse his account of the shooting, will have the opportunity to interrogate all of the defence witnesses.

18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More
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