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Two New Pinger Signals Detected; Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial; Pistorius On The Stand

Aired April 9, 2014 - 06:30   ET


MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: And those submersibles, those side-scan sonar units are very slow. So what they want to do is know that they're right on top of it and then put down the unmanned subs. So what they want to do is know that they're right on top of it and then put down the unmanned subs.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: David, we heard for I think maybe the first time was a mention of a concern over silt at this seabed. What does that mean for the search?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, it could mean a couple things. If you're on a visual search, it's probable that that heavy box would be down inside the silt. And, plus, it's moving all the time, not dramatically at that depth but it is moving. So that's a concern.

However, it actually helps the search in a number of ways. If you're doing sonar searches, then it's going to show as something manmade through the silt. The sonar is capable of actually seeing through the silt. So, the silt would mean there's fewer rocks, fewer anomalies in the seabed. So, as far as what you're seeing on sonar, it actually could help the search.

BOLDUAN: And, Mary, what do you take of the different lengths of time, the duration that they were able to track the pings? The first one over the weekend, two hours, 20 minutes. The second one, about 13 minutes. Then, now, the latest two pings, five minutes and 32 seconds. And then 7 minutes.

Is there anything we can learn from that?

SCHIAVO: Well, not particularly in just in terms of times that they've been able to pick up the signal. In fact, the long one, the two hours and something seemed a little strange. It seemed very long to me.

But what they're doing with each pass is trying to narrow in on where the boxes are. So the fact they've gotten repeated signals, maybe not as long as the first one, is probably of more importance than the length of the signals because they though they're able to pick it up with each pass and each time they're narrowing in on where they're going to have the final destination for those actual sonar search vehicles. BOLDUAN: So when do you put the sonar search vehicles in, David? Is it time today or do you continue to allow for more time to try to get more pings and narrow the field?

SOUCIE: I think I go until we know the battery is not giving a signal anymore. If you go another day or two without getting a signal and you exhaust the search area, at that point, let's say 25 miles, because was of this propagation, then you're going to start narrowing it down.

The two-hour thing you were talking about as well, it's like being in the mountains and you're screaming down a valley. And the echo goes out and comes back. It is that's that refraction thing. It can go at various areas.

But if you're standing just on the other side of the peak you're not going to hear it but you might hear it further away because it propagates around.

So, it's very, very complex as to where these are and what the pings say to you and the different amplitudes and frequencies.

BOLDUAN: Very complex, but one thing that seems clear is the tone and confidence level coming from Perth is very different today than it has been any day previously. So they really say they are optimistic. We will join them in that.

Mary, David, thanks so much.

All right. Let's get back over to John Berman, in for Michaela, for some of today's other big stories -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate.

The Ukrainian government official says that pro-Russia protests will be resolved within two days either through negotiations or through force. Separatist demonstrators have taken control of government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities and there are conflicting reports about whether or not they took hostages. In one city, they're demanding independence and calling for a referendum to succeed like happened in Crimea.

Next week, senior officials from Russia, the United States, Ukraine, and the European union will hold the first four-way talks since this crisis erupted.

So, a major political development that will shock you or not. Hillary Clinton now admits she's thinking about running for president in 2016. But during an interview Tuesday, she said she will not make an official decision for a while because she's enjoying having a regular life right now. Just a few months ago, she did tell an audience in New Orleans she was not thinking about running. So, again, a major political development, or not.

One of wrestling's biggest stars has died. Born James Brian Hellwig, he began his career in 1987 defeating Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania three years later to become the WWF champion. It was later renamed WWE. He was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday. Just inducted Saturday. The Ultimate Warrior was 54. A little bit after my time. Stunning that he was just recognized on Saturday as one of the greatest.

BOLDUAN: And only 54 years old.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: At least he got that recognition, though.


CUOMO: You know? He had that to cement the legacy. Appreciate it, J.B.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, if search teams are zeroing in on the wreckage of Flight 370, how challenging will it be to find and identify the plane? An expert tells us what lies ahead when we come back.


CUOMO: We want to take you live to the Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria. This is the critical moment of testimony so far.

Prosecutors are using a video of Oscar Pistorius at a gun range blowing up watermelons with a handgun and trying to compare it to what happened to Reeva Steenkamp. The prosecutor is trying to paint Oscar Pistorius as somebody who had some kind of blood lust, who enjoyed this to draw contrast to the sympathetic figure so far. The judge adjourning this trial more than once because of his emotional breakdowns.

So this is the main back and forth. Let's listen in.

PROSECUTOR: -- reconstruction or not?


JUDGE: You have to speak a little louder.

PISTORIUS: I beg your pardon.

From the time I went to sleep to the time that I took Reeva's life, there was no reconstruction afterward. There was some points that I don't remember on that evening. I don't recall calling security or speaking to Mr. Babar (ph). I don't recall switching on the lights in the bathroom. I don't recall parts of me carrying Reeva downstairs.

PROSECUTOR: So let us just get an answer to this. I just want to know, from the time you fell asleep to the time that you shot and killed Reeva, is there reconstruction of the scene or not?

PISTORIUS: There is no reconstruction of the scene.

PROSECUTOR: You didn't (ph) --

PISTORIUS: In a physical sense, there was no reconstruction of anything in my house.

PROSECUTOR: Reconstruction of the evidence? Taking into account other evidence in giving a version, did you do that?

JUDGE: Please just repeat that.

PROSECUTOR: Did you take into account other evidence to form your version for the period?

PISTORIUS: My lady, I think it's important to state no that I finished the court at my bail hearing with the set of -- with my version of what happened. My version has never changed.

I knew that and I said that version before I knew any of the evidence that would be compiled against me. I tendered my story to my counsel. They compiled the bail transcript, the bail and statement.

My story hasn't changed since then. Granted in the bail, there are some aspects that I spoke to my counsel with that they didn't include in my bail. The bail is an exhaustive document. At the time of my bail I wanted to give evidence. My counsel told me I wasn't stable at the time and wouldn't be able to cope with the giving of evidence.

But I wrote my version of what happened that night and nothing has changed. There hasn't been -- state's case has changed many times. There hasn't been anything that has given to me that made me change what I said in those first couple of days.

PROSECUTOR: Mr. Pistorius, with respect to the court, you've given -- you've been afforded an opportunity to give evidence. Don't you just want to listen to the question and answer the question?

PISTORIUS: I beg your pardon, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: Just answer the questions. I know you want to say lot of things and it's interesting you're arguing. You're not answering. Why are you arguing and not answering?

PISTORIUS: I'm sorry, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: Not sorry. Sorry doesn't answer the question of why. The question is, why? Sorry is not an answer to why. Why are you arguing and not answering?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think with respect, my lady, difficulty in the question are other things. You make it so wide. If you put to him a certain aspect and say, is that reconstruction or is that what you remember? Then I can understand.

But once the witness is confronted with other things then you must expect a long answer because you try to cover whatever other things may include and not include.

So, I think if the question is put differently to say this is what I say to you, can you tell me is that reconstructed or real, then we won't have what we've seen. PROSECUTOR: Without disrespect, my lady --

JUDGE: One minute, one minute. I'm not quite sure understand the objection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My lady, the question put to Mr. Pistorius was, there are other things, what was reconstructed, what not. We don't know what other thing is. If it's put pertinently, what do you say about "A," was "A" reconstructed or your independent memory? Then he can answer.

But the moment you ask a question about other things, then what this will answer is widely as possible.

And all I'm asking is the question must be put to the point and say, what do you say about A, was that reconstructed or independent memory? B, C. But to use the word other things, that's wide. It's very difficult for a witness to know what it is.

JUDGE: Well, I think the witness should say, I don't quite understand the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course, my lady. It's still a lay person and it's my duty to stand up and maybe sometimes from a legal perspective bring that to your attention. I agree with that. But it's also my duty to bring certain aspects to your attention.

JUDGE: Yes. Thank you.

PROSECUTOR: With respect, my lady, I expect lots of objections. I couldn't have put the question clearer. I never used the word other things. Did you use other evidence to create your version? And I also said between the time you went to bed and the time you shot her. My lady, I can't do it any other way. I ask the court to allow me to proceed with these questions.

JUDGE: Yes, please proceed. But the witness has already said when you said why, don't you answer the question, he gave you an answer.

PROSECUTOR: Yes. I, as --

JUDGE: He said sorry. That was the answer.

PROSECUTOR: I agree. Might I just ask -- I'm carry on, my lady, with respect.

Now, perhaps I just didn't get it with all the objections. Mr. Pistorius, did you not take anything else into account that you read and/or heard of your version during the period when you went to bed and the time you shot and killed Reeva?

PISTORIUS: No, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: You didn't do that. And your answers are very interesting. I take it that you know the bail application very well. Am I right? PISTORIUS: I've read through the bail application a couple of times, my Lady. At the time that my counsel --

JUDGE: You have to pick up your voice a little.

PISTORIUS: I beg your pardon. At the time that the bail application was brought to me during my bail, I was at the Brooklyn Police Station. I was -- I was very emotional. My counsel brought my statement to me. They read it to me. I wasn't able to read it. And I signed it, everything that was in there was the truth. My version hasn't changed since then. I have read it a couple of times. I don't want to try to remember the night more than I have to. I read it the day before yesterday, I read my bail statement again. So it's not very well known to me but I do know what I said there and it is truth.

PROSECUTOR: And you also know what you said in your plea explanation?

PISTORIUS: I won't be able to recite it, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: But when counsel read it out, the court asked you if you agreed with it and you agreed with the contents of it?

PISTORIUS: That is correct, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: And it was discussed with you before, before it was drafted, and agreed upon? Am I right by counsel?

PISTORIUS: That is correct, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: You now said there are certain things in your bail application that counsel did not put in. What was that?

PISTORIUS: I cannot think of -- I think of the top of my head it would be Reeva speaking to me as I sat up in bed, it would be phoning Mr. Bubba (ph), which I don't remember. I guess there would be a lot of things, my lady, statements that I made for the bail purposes was not of every minor detail that I told my counsel and I explained that it didn't have to be either. It was there for the purpose of the bail hearing.

PROSECUTOR: How about that, but I'm still asking you --

CUOMO: We're going to take a break now. We are leaving the live coverage of the trial of Oscar Pistorius. Again, you hear him. You don't see him because the defense witnesses aren't going to be shown on camera. Very important for the prosecution to do two things.

One, disturb this image of Oscar Pistorius as being so wildly emotional and sympathetic as if he is hurt by what happened. They don't want that to be the impression. They want that he feels sorry for himself, not for Reeva Steenkamp. That's going to be a big part.

The second one is, is to undermine the basis of his story. The word they're using is reconstruction. What they're trying to say is, is this what you say happened or -- or have you pieced this together with your counsel to come up with the perfect story? BOLDUAN: Essentially, is this what you remember or is this what you've been coached to say.

CUOMO: That's right. Oscar got into trouble there because he said both. This is how I remember it, but he also read through witness testimony and other accounts in preparation for the bail hearing to reconstruct parts of the story he didn't remember. That's why the prosecution is going after him and it's going to continue.

BOLDUAN: We're going to continue to monitor the cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius and of course, bring it to you live. But still ahead on NEW DAY, two pings relocated by searches. Australian authorities saying it could be a matter of days before they find the final resting place of Flight 370. The latest on the search right after the break.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Breaking news overnight in the search for Flight 370. Two new signals detected under water. Officials saying for the first time we will find the plane and it could be very soon. We need perspective.

Let's bring in David Gallo, co-leader in the search for Air France Flight 447 and director of special projects in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Mr. Gallo, pleasure. Thank you for being with us this morning.

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: My pleasure, Chris.

CUOMO: One of the things that may change in this dynamic, I was talking to John Berman about this before. Time because they now believe they're getting closer, are they going to need to be as obsessed with time even if the batteries run out?

GALLO: To some extent. But a lot of the pressure from the media, of course, pressure from the families because we want to bring this to a rapid and definitive end. So I think there's that pressure, but certainly no race against time to be worrying about batteries much more.

CUOMO: And also the intrigue that fascinates the outsiders here as you refer to, the media and even the families who are on looking this process, what was in the pilots' heads, why did this happen, what's the motive, let's get that black box. Searchers need to remove all of that, right? That is completely irrelevant to them. Fair point?

GALLO: Yes. On Air France, one of the keys to that is to block out all of that. To get the fewest number of people possible in a room with a white board and some fresh sharpies and put down what's important on the board. You're right, we try to block all that stuff out and stick to one mission, which was to find that aircraft and recover the black boxes.

CUOMO: It is often easy to criticize and that's certainly going on here. But having led a search of this nature before, how impressed are you that they've been able to find and pick up the pinger signal dealing with everything that they have as variables in this situation?

GALLO: You know, it was a Hail Mary pass and it was caught in the end zone. You know, apparently for a touchdown. It's amazing to me that this has happened, going down the way it's going down. I think it's -- there is cautious optimism but everything looks really good right now.

CUOMO: And do you think people might be losing sight of that? We were very heavy on it in the beginning how vast this ocean is in this area of the globe, how it's farther away from any point on land than anywhere else. How deep it is? Easy to lose sight of and just get frustrate with the success. Yes?

GALLO: Yes, that's absolutely true. But I think there will be lesson to be learned when we get down and work on the bottom and realizing how rough that's going to be because you have to worry about the terrain, the water depth, the currents, the visibility. All these things are now going to come into play because it's a place that oceanographers go to routine by but it takes a lot of hard work and talent and new technology.

CUOMO: That's assuming everything goes well, the next set of challenges. Again, to outsiders, the uninitiated, the bottom of the ocean. They say it's pretty flat there. If it doesn't fall on to the deepest part of the trench, how hard can it be? They got satellite images of the Titanic, why can't they find this? What are the challenges?

GALLO: The challenges are, well, right now they appear to be working on the north side of an underwater feature. It's part of the wallaby plateau. The top of that plateau is a mile and a half to get to the top. It's about 3-1/2 miles to get to the bottom. Midway down, 2 1/2 miles, is where they appear to be searching and that's right about the operational depth of the Blue Fin 21.

Also, it could be a very rugged terrain with lots of gullies and canyons and boulders, landslides everywhere. The first search is going to be done with sonar. So it's going to be tough going for quite a while.

CUOMO: So there's a lot to deal with still but, again, your assessment of this situation that they're saying they're optimistic. This is the best we've had so far in terms of feeling that everything is going the right way. Yes?

GALLO: Absolutely. We've collapsed that mega size search area down to a workable hay stack, a very workable haystack in fact. So I agree in the next few days a week or so we're going to see some real progress being made.

CUOMO: All right, David Gallo, thank you. We take your note of caution that, again, this could be just the beginning of the beginning. It could still be a very protracted process. Yours, even once you knew where the debris field was, took two years in the absence of the pingers to play with. We understand that it can take a long time but can also end successfully as we saw in your search. Hopefully the same thing happens here. David Gallo, thank you very much. Appreciate it as always.

All right, we have that breaking news on Flight 370 and the latest on the search. We have live coverage of Oscar Pistorius giving the testimony of his life. So let's get right to it.


ANGUS HOUSTON, JOINT COORDINATION AGENCY CHIEF: Ocean Shield has been able to reacquire two signals on two more occasions. I'm now optimistic we will find the aircraft in the not too distant future.

SARAH BAJC: I do believe that there is some sort of cover-up by some sort of government agency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pro-Russian unrest is brewing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russian Special Forces and agents have been the catalyst behind in chaos in the last 24 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You killed her. You shot and killed her.

PISTORIUS: I took Reeva's life.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Breaking news at this hour. Oscar Pistorius is on the stand in South Africa. He's undergoing a tough cross-examination. There have been several delays because he has been breaking down, very emotional throughout. The prosecution is going through several statements, challenges, challenging Pistorius on that night Reeva Steenkamp was killed. Let's dip in and listen in to more of this trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm reading the record. So he was hear on the balcony and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he says that that's what he put to him, that's right. If he says that's in the bail application affidavit, that's not so. Distinction must be made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it's a wrong statement made by him the bail application, so be it. He must in all fairness say that does not come from the bail affidavit.

JUDGE: It doesn't come from the affidavit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to interfere but he can read to see --

JUDGE: No, I want to be clear. That's very important. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's clear from the record. It's me leading the evidence and I said that's what is said and he agreed. But that was never taken up with him.

JUDGE: Can you read that again? I just want to understand. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will. I'm leading the witness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say. He got up. He said he went on to the balcony to bring the fan in and close the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. Then I quote from the affidavit. I heard a noise in the bathroom.