Ro­hde ‘staged wife’s sui­cide’

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Aron Hy­man

SU­SAN Ro­hde’s sui­cide was not only staged, but she had been beaten days be­fore her death‚ a state foren­sic pathol­o­gist said yes­ter­day.

Dr Ak­mal Khan told the Cape Town High Court that a hor­i­zon­tal lig­a­ture mark around Su­san’s neck had been 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.

Ro­hde claims Su­san hanged her­self with an elec­tric cord in the bath­room of their ho­tel suite at the Spier wine es­tate in Stel­len­bosch in July last year.

Im­ages of Su­san’s naked body at the scene of the crime were shown in court yes­ter­day‚ with a large bruise on her up­per thigh clearly vis­i­ble.

Khan said the green­ish colour of the bruise was an in­di­ca­tion that it was a few days old‚ and 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 con­clude 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.

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