Gaining access to murder-accused Oscar Pistorius’ iPhone for crucial evidence is turning into a technical nightmare for investigators – and time is running out.
This is according to reports from City Press and eNCA, which highlight the confusion in information coming from Pistorius’ legal representative, Brian Webber, and state investigators.
Reports indicate that Webber has handed over Pistorius’ Apple ID and password to authorities, but feedback from investigators claims that the password is incorrect.
“It worked in June last year and it works now,” Webber told City Press.
Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on 14 February 2013. Pistorius claimed that he believed Steenkamp was an intruder at the time the incident took place, and opened fire on her behind a closed door. The state is pursuing murder charges.
Pistorius could reportedly not remember the four-digit passcode needed to unlock the phone at the time.
Cracking the code
On Thursday, 13 February, news outlet eNCA claimed to have gained access to Pistorius’ iTunes account using the Apple ID and password provided by Webber, without any issues.
“All it appears to reveal is that Oscar Pistorius likes legal TV dramas, cello concertos and dance music,” the news group said.
Investigators, however, will be looking for more than download and app information – rather seeking to gain access to iMessage history and other data stored on the paralympian’s traceable digital footprint.
Citing “Apple experts” the City Press asserted that it may be the case that the Apple ID and password provided are not linked to the iPhone handed to prosecutors in this case.
“Either the phone’s owner remotely changed the password, or the owner opened a new account,” the report said.
Investigators will reportedly probe the matter to see if any changes were made, while they continue to fight through international red tape to get Apple’s support in the US.
Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial is set to start on 3 March 2014.