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The Van Breda murder trial
I am honestly not quite certain as the trial did proceed even when the appeal and judgment were still being considered.

I read in IOL that Judge Desai first ruled that some broadcastings may be made with the exception of Marli's testimony which may only be note recorded.

Which instills in me the idea that she is indeed on the witness list.

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Sooooooo, it's been a long time, what has happened to the trial?

No news. The trial, as far as I am aware, resumes again 7 August.

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(07-14-2017, 01:16 PM)Carly1803 Wrote: No news. The trial, as far as I am aware, resumes again 7 August.

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Ah ok, that would explain the absence of anything new

I did say so in my last day of trial

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As the last I heard indicated the trial to continue this Monday, the 7th of August, please stop in on Monday for hopefully an update.

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Well that's great news!

Day 28 or Day 27 (as no one seems to be sure) has arrived with great anticipation.

News24 has apparently been streaming the trial (today's) albeit I was under the impression they are not allowed to? Some testimonies are not aired when the testifier objects and Desai needs to grant this. UPDATE: After some research, I see News24 has an audio stream of the trial which I tried listening to but I could not skip forward at all because then I lose the audio. Honestly, what is the point?

If I could be there myself I definitely would be. These people are making reporting increasingly difficult.

Sharlene Otto testified today, she is a lieutenant colonel.

She is attached to the biology section of SAPS Forensic Laboratory. She has 24 years of service with a B.Sc Degree at UFS and "extensive training" in DNA Analysis.

Every single person's DNA is made up 50% of their father and 50% from their mother. 

She said they receive any swabs from scenes in a sealed condition at the lab where analysis then takes place. The analysists do not know from which cases the bags come from so as to remain objective with each case. 

The testing happens as follows:
Preliminary Test
DNA Isolation Phase
Quantification Phase
Polymerase Chain Reaction Phase
And then Data Analysis is done.

She said they analysed 216 samples. They keep high quality, international standards when it comes to quality control. Analysts undergo proficiency testing each year.  

She then talked about the DNA of each and where it was found. No new or unexpected places. But then, in a second report, scrapings from under Henri's nails have Teresa's, Rudi's and Martin's DNA. 

There was a mixture of different DNAs on the bottom of the axe handle. Henri's DNA can be read but not enough of any others were found to be discerned. A swab from the corner of the shower floor also reads that of Henri, Teresa and Rudi. 
Touch DNA from the handle of the knife came back as only positive for Rudi. Rudi's DNA was also found in the scrapings from underneath Martin's nails. 

On the shorts Henri was wearing DNA from Henri, Teresa and Rudi can be read. 

Otto said they had optimal samples as there was a lot of blood on the scene. 

She said there may have been mixed samples of DNA but there was no unknown DNA on the bottom of the axe handle. 

Galloway asked her what the odds are of someone entering and not leaving a trace to which Otto explained the Locard Principle - Every touch leaves a trace. 

The "blood" on the laundry door was tested and turned out to not be blood. 

The court is adjourned until tomorrow.

So basically plenty of family blood and nothing else?

(08-07-2017, 09:14 PM)Purply Wrote: So basically plenty of family blood and nothing else?

Indeed. That is what the expert said.

Day 29 arrived. A short day in court as Sharlene Otto continued her testimony on DNA.

I watched some of the live trial. And I can tell you I was impressed with Sharlene, a real sassy lady who took no nonsense from Combrink. 

She said that even though it takes a lot of money and time for samples to be tested, all 216 samples were tested. She wanted to make it clear that the SAPS Forensic Laboratory was reliable even though it was not an accredited establishment. The only difference between unaccredited and credited is an audit by the South African National Accreditation System.

On a side note, Desai asked that cameras will not roll when Marli van Breda testifies. 

The court is adjourned until Thursday. Enjoy Women's Day.

Wow so we will finally get the hear what Marli has to say soon

Enjoy your day off for the single guys out there Big Grin

Thanks for the updates!

Today in court, the sassy Sharlene Otto was back on the stand. 

Swab 63’s paper trail was requested which she has today. Swab 63 is the “blood” that was found on the laundry door that is not blood. 

Sharlene said that at least 20 staff members worked on the van Breda samples. Which is a lot of manpower for the lab that has about 60 staff, including admin staff. 

Otto said that it takes anything from a week to a month before a sample is finished being analyzed. She said that only one person dealt with swab 63. Otto once again reassured the court that the lab is state of art. 

Otto said that the kits SAPS use are bought from US companies and that it gets used in labs all over the world. Desai jokingly asked Sharlene if it is the same ones they use on CSI.

Otto once again says that they use very strict procedures and that nothing went wrong with any of the 216 samples. Otto was clearly frustrated with Combrink and told him that they were going in circles. 

Combrink then asked how her competency is verified. Otto said that she has had years of training and mentorship, not to mention the yearly proficiency tests that happen internally (national) or externally (international).

Otto said that samples below standard are not ignored but amplification kits are used when the input DNA is too low. 

The court is adjourned until tomorrow.

Give us Marli already *frustrated panda*

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