Su­san Ro­hde’s sui­cide staged, in­sists state foren­sic spe­cial­ist

Daily Dispatch - - News - By ARON HY­MAN

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

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