A forensic scientist has told a court how a kitchen knife seized by police had the blood of a man who was allegedly murdered by his flatmate on it.
Esther Coombe told a jury she was tasked with examining a blade which detectives found following the death of Aleksander Smerdel in Aberdeen on December 27 last year.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that detectives arrested Bohdan Cieslar, 59, a man who lived with Mr Smerdel at a flat in the city’s Donside Court.
Ms Coombe, who works for the Scottish Police Authority, told prosecution lawyer Derick Nelson the knife was found in a bedroom in the house.
She said it had blood and DNA belonging to the dead man on it.
Ms Coombe said: “The DNA matched that of Aleksander Smerdel. It was a billion times more likely to have come from him than anybody else.”
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The forensic scientist was giving evidence on the fourth day of proceedings against Cieslar, of Aberdeen.
He denies murdering Mr Smerdel at 57 Donside Court, Aberdeen, on December 27 last year.
Cieslar, a Czech national who speaks Polish, has lodged a special defence of self defence to the charge.
He is following proceedings with the assistance of a Polish language interpreter who is sitting in the dock alongside him.
Yesterday Ms Coombe said she examined items which had been taken by police from the flat the two men shared in Aberdeen.
She said she examined a black- handled kitchen knife which had been taken from a bedroom.
When asked to explain why Mr Smerdel’s blood and DNA could be found on the blade, Ms Coombe said: “It can be readily explained if it had cut through Mr Smerdel’s flesh.”
Following Ms Coombe’s evidence, Mr Nelson said he was closing the prosecution case against Cieslar.
Judge Lord Pentland told the jury that this announcement meant the “closure of the first chapter” in the case against the accused.
Prosecutors claim that on December 27 last year Cieslar assaulted Mr Smerdel and repeatedly struck him on his body with a knife to his severe injury and that he murdered him.
Cieslar, who is represented by Ian Duguid QC, has pled not guilty to the charge.
He has lodged a special defence which states that on the “occasion libelled he acted in self defence, having been attacked by the deceased”.
The trial continues.