Susan Rohde’s suicide staged, insists state forensic specialist
SUSAN Rohde’s “suicide” was not only staged but she had been beaten days before her death‚ a state forensic pathologist said on Thursday.
Dr Akmal Khan told the High Court in Cape Town that a horizontal ligature mark around Susan’s neck was made after her death by someone trying to stage her suicide.
The true cause of death was manual strangulation‚ he said.
Susan’s multimillionaire husband‚ Jason Rohde‚ is on trial for her murder‚ which he denies.
He claims Susan hanged herself with an electric cord in the bathroom of their hotel suite at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch in July 2016.
Referring to the ligature mark caused by an electric cable‚ Khan said: “The mark was applied after death so it’s a staging of a hanging.
Images of Susan’s body at the scene of the crime were shown in court on Thursday‚ with a large bruise on her upper thigh clearly visible.
Khan said the greenish colour of the bruise indicated it was a few days old. Other marks on her body indicated “battered woman syndrome”.
Khan countered the findings of Dr Reggie Perumal‚ a pathologist hired by the defence to conduct a second autopsy.
He said if Perumal did not come to the conclusion that a broken hyoid bone in the neck and haemorrhages near the thyroid bone were the cause of death he would be misleading the court. — DDC