Oscar witness talks about trauma of being on the stand

By IAfrica
In South Africa
Aug 25th, 2014
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JOHANNESBURG – Anette Stipp, one of the prosecution’s witnesses in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial said being questioned on the stand felt like a personal attack, The Times reported on Monday.

“We feel [like we were] trampled by a bus,” she reportedly said in an interview for a research paper on the trauma of being a witness in a criminal trial.

She said Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux’s presentation of his heads of argument earlier this month was harrowing. He described Stipp and her husband’s testimony as “exaggerated and contradictory”.

“You feel like you are being attacked personally. Your integrity is questioned. We felt that [we] were being attacked as liars.” Stipp said.

The research paper by Karen Tewson, head of court preparation at the National Prosecuting Authority found that many witnesses and victims are traumatised and suffer victimisation on the witness stand, often during cross-examination.

Judge Thokozile Masipa will hand down judgment in the murder trial on September 11.

Pistorius was charged with murder following the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her through a locked toilet door at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year. He claimed he mistook her for an intruder.

Stipp, who lived nearby, testified about gunshots followed by female screams that she said she heard on the morning of the shooting.

Watch a collection of clips featuring the Stipps’ testimony in the gallery.


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