“Chilling,” “strange,” and “bombshell” are just a few of the words being used to describe a leaked video that appears to show Oscar Pistorius re-enacting the night he fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp. (Via New York Daily News, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Getty Images)
The track star is on trial for the Valentine’s Day shooting of his then-girlfriend. Pistorius admits to firing four shots at Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door of his home, but says he did so because he thought she was an intruder. (Via ITN)
The reenactment video was aired by Australia’s Channel 7 as part of documentary on the murder trial. It shows Pistorius running without his prostheses and aiming his fingers like a gun. (Via Twitter / @sundaynighton7)
A writer for The Telegraph describes the video in more detail: “Wearing a green Nike vest and black Lycra shorts, the 27-year-old looks impassive as he acts out the events of the night that, as he said in the witness box, 'everything changed.'"
The video raises a few questions. For one, why was Pistorius re-enacting that night in the first place? And where has this video been during the trial?
We now know the video was shot by an American forensic animation company hired by the defense. Pistorius’ attorneys clarified in a statement “the 'visual mapping' was for trial preparation only and was not intended to be used for any other purpose." (Via ENCA)
It's not entirely clear how Channel 7 got its hands on the video, though Pistorius' legal team said the broadcaster did so illegally and in airing it, violated the family's privacy. (Via Getty Images)
As for why we haven't seen this video before, courtroom observers are pointing to one big reason. In it, Pistorius can be seen running without his prosthetic legs.
"The defense has introduced successive witnesses who have talked about Oscar Pistorius being very vulnerable on his stumps which is why they say he was so alarmed." (Via Sky News)
The defense has argued Pistorius' movement is extremely limited when he's without his prosthetic limbs. Meaning, he would have been more likely to confront danger when standing on his stumps, because he felt he couldn’t run away. (Via Getty Images)
It's unclear now what role the leaked video will play in the trial, if any. The prosecution has already wrapped up its cross-examination of Pistorius. So, ABC says, if the prosecution wants to air it in court, it will have to apply to reopen its case.