Detectives investigating Oscar Pistorius murder trial fly to Apple’s HQ so they can access messages on his iPhone that are protected by password
- Detectives believe paralympian’s phone could have clues about shooting
- It was found in bathroom the night he gunned down Reeva Steenkamp
- He claims he thought she was an intruder and fired through a door
- The trial begins Monday and prosecutor’s say all evidence is ‘vital’
South African police investigating the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius have sent a detective to Apple’s headquarters in the U.S. to unlock the paralympian’s iPhone.
They believe the device could contain facts vital to piecing together what happened the night the 29-year-old model died.
Pistorius, 27, also known as the Blade Runner, has admitted to shooting his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year, but has said it was a tragic accident in which he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.
South African police are flying to Apple’s U.S. headquarters to unlock Oscar Pistorius’ iPhone
Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot her on Valentine’s Day last year, but claims he thought she was an intruder
Pistorius claims to have forgotten the four-digit passcode needed to unlock the phone, found on the bathroom floor of his Pretoria home, along with three others.
He was allegedly looking at pornographic websites the night his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed, it was reported in the South African media last week.
Nathi Mncube, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We have sent officials who are meeting with Apple today with the purpose of unlocking an iPhone.
‘We followed the mutual legal assistance processes.
‘With or without this evidence, the trial will still continue on Monday and we feel that we have more than enough evidence regardless, but any evidence we can lay our hands on is critical.’
If convicted of murder, Pistorius (left at London 2012 Olympics) faces up to life in prison. The trial is due to start on Monday.
Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo, who is leading the investigation, said in June: ‘I cannot say Pistorius’s memory failure is suspicious but the mobile phones were clearly in use up to the time of the killing.’
Pistorius, who competed at the London Olympics in 2012 against able-bodied athletes, told a court he had thought she was an intruder when he fired four shots from a handgun through a bathroom door.
Three hit Reeva and she bled to death.
Pistorius claims to have forgotten the four-digit passcode needed to unlock the phone. File picture
Oscar Pistorius’s luxury home in Pretoria, where Miss Steenkamp died
On Tuesday a South African judge ruled that the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius can be televised, but the testimony given by the double-amputee Olympian himself cannot be shown.
If convicted of murder, he faces up to life in prison. The trial is due to start on Monday.
In a televised ruling in a Pretoria high court, Judge Dustan Mlambo said it was vital that impoverished South Africans who feel ill-treated by the justice system be given a first-hand look at the trial.
‘The justice system is still perceived as treating the rich and famous with kid gloves whilst being harsh on the poor and the vulnerable,’ he said.
‘Enabling a larger South African society to be able to follow first-hand criminal proceedings which involve a celebrity, so to speak, will go a long way into dispelling these negative and unfounded perceptions.’