Pistorius' defence blows holes in prosecution's allegations on final day of trial
The defence lawyer of murder accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has said in his closing remarks that prosecutors have twisted the facts to discredit the South African athlete in his trial.
Barry Roux said that the double amputee should have faced a lesser charge of culpable homicide over the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom the double amputee shot on Valentine's Day last year and maintains that he did not shoot her deliberately.
But Roux conceded that Pistorius should be found guilty of negligence for discharging a firearm in a restaurant. The Olympic athlete pleaded not guilty to all the charges that he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition, The BBC reported.
Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa adjourned the trial at the end of the session on Friday until 11 September when she would deliver her verdict after considering 4,000 pages of evidence with her assessors.
The prosecution tried to characterise Pistorius as a hothead who intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument. But his defence team portrayed the double amputee as having a heightened response to perceived danger due to his disability and background, describing it as a slow burn of insecurities and compared it to an abused woman shooting her abuser.
Roux even described prosecution's evidence of Pistorius' neighbours that they had heard a woman's screams shortly before hearing gunshots as unreliable. Pistorius had claimed that Steenkamp did not scream at any point before she died.
The defence lawyer also made a compelling argument to show police tampering with the crime scene. The minute-by-minute timeline presented by the defence also seemed detrimental to the prosecution's assertion that there was an argument before the shooting.
Pistorius' lawyer also dealt with the State's proverbial baker's dozen used to show that he lied, in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday. Roux said that if that is a baker's dozen then he does not want to eat those cookies.
On Thursday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel had listed 13 instances that showed Pistorius had incongruities and deceit and was tailoring his version and called it the proverbial baker's dozen, which included the Paralympian not remembering where certain items were in the bathroom.
Roux said that Pistorius' actions after Steenkamp was shot were not consistent with a man who was trying to kill his girlfriend. During the trial he also revealed that Pistorius carried Steenkamp down the stairs after breaking the toilet door.
Pistorius even called neighbours, a hospital and paramedics to help and the court also heard that the double amputee wanted to save Steenkamp to hospital and begged God to save his deceased girlfriend, the report added.
But the fact that Steenkamp was killed is not disputed, so now the judge must decide if it was murder or culpable homicide.
(Posted on 09-08-2014)