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Susan Rohde strangled and death staged: forensic expert

eNCA logo eNCA 2017-10-12

web_photo_akmal_coetzeekhan_121017: Forensic pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan testified in the Jason Rohde murder trial, suggesting Susan Rohde was strangled to death and her suicide was staged. © eNCA / Leigh-Anne Jansen Forensic pathologist Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan testified in the Jason Rohde murder trial, suggesting Susan Rohde was strangled to death and her suicide was staged. CAPE TOWN – Forensic pathologist, Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday that Susan Rohde was strangled to death and her suicide was staged.

He was testifying in the murder case involving Jason Rohde, the former Sotheby’s CEO, who is accused of killing his wife at the Spier Wine Estate in July 2016.

Rohde insists his wife – who he admits cheating on – strangled herself with an electrical cord in the bathroom after a heated argument.

Coetzee-Khan testified that he called the police's crime scene unit to the scene after noticing red stains on the floor, bed, pillow, and floor mat. 

There were also faecal stains in front of the bathroom door. 

He told the court he believed the bedroom was the scene of the crime and not the bathroom as authorities were initially led to believe. 

Coetzee-Khan testified that bruising and abrasions to Susan’s face, and ligature marks to her neck, were not consistent with someone who had committed suicide by hanging.

There also wasn’t a friction rub from an electrical cord.

Referring to Battered Wife Syndrome, the pathologist said he noted various bruises of different ages all over her body.

During the autopsy, Coetzee-Khan found trauma to the thyroid cartilage in Susan’s neck, indicating a hand had produced a squeezing action on the neck.  

Coetzee-Khan said evidence of three fractured ribs could also not have been associated with CPR.

Read the post-mortem report here:

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