Pathologist a liar, Rohde trial told

21 November 2017 - 08:19 By Aron Hyman
Murder accused property mogul Jason Rohde. File photo.
Murder accused property mogul Jason Rohde. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Murder accused Jason Rohde's defence advocate Graham van der Spuy's attempt to unnerve state pathologist Akmal Coetzee-Khan led to heated exchanges in the Cape Town High Court on Monday.

After six weeks of trial Van der Spuy again tried to discredit Coetzee-Khan'sexpert testimony, including calling him a liar.

Referring to a discrepancy between Coetzee-Khan's handwritten notes from the autopsy and his final report, Van der Spuy said he was "not telling the truth" about the findings.

Rohde is on trial for the murder of his wife Susan.

The state claims she was strangled and her suicide staged; the defence argues she was depressed and committed suicide.

Van der Spuy said that during a telephone conversation with defence pathology expert Reginald Perumal, Coetzee-Khan said he had found that Susan had a broken hyoid bone. Coetzee-Khan denied this.

Coetzee-Khan previously testified that Perumal was misleading the court if he did not find that Susan had been manually strangled.

When Van der Spuy mentioned Perumal's autopsy findings on Monday, Coetzee-Khan rolled his eyes. The advocate noticed: "Why did you just roll your eyes when I mentioned Dr Perumal? Did you infer something by that?"

Coetzee-Khan said he was not rolling his eyes but was trying to concentrate. Van der Spuy replied: "Don't tell an untruth. When I mentioned Dr Perumal you rolled your eyes intentionally."