Pretoria: The pathologist hired by Oscar Pistorius will not give evidence at the athlete’s murder trial because of scheduling issues and not due to any contradiction with the defence’s case, one of the Paralympian’s lawyers said on Friday.

Oscar Pistorius

Private forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal, who witnessed the autopsy of Pistorius’ slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, said on Thursday he would not testify, sparking speculation that his decision was because his findings back key parts of the prosecution case.

“That is not true!”, Brian Webber, one of Pistorius’ main lawyers, told AFP yesterday. “If we want him to testify, he will. He remains a member of the defence team.”

Webber said that while the pathologist “won’t probably testify”, the decision to call a different forensic pathologist to give evidence “was made on the basis of Dr Perumal’s availability”.

Perumal’s decision to not take the stand attracted the attention of his fellow forensic pathologists. Steve Naidoo, another pathologist, had said he had “heard that it might be because he refused to amend his version”.