15 April 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Excused From Stand

Pretoria — Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius was excused from the witness stand, with prosecutor Gerrie Nel having concluded his cross-examination on Tuesday morning.

Re-examining Pistorius, defence counsel Barry Roux, SC, asked him how he felt at the time he heard a noise that led him to believe there was an intruder in his house.

Pistorius said he felt helplessness, terror and feared for his and Steenkamp's life.

"I didn't think about pulling the trigger," he said.

He immediately followed this by stating that he pulled the trigger.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp when he shot her dead through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria house on February 14 last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

Roux then asked for a Valentine's card and letter to be given to Pistorius.

The card, from Reeva Steenkamp to Pistorius and from "the day of the accident" as stated by the paralympian, was read out by Roux to the court.

It concluded "I think this is a good day to say I love".

Roux ended his re-examination on this note.

One of the assessors asked Pistorius whether Steenkamp had access to the alarm, whether she would have been able to turn it off, and the light in the toilet.

Pistorius said the toilet light was not working and was not sure whether Steenkamp would have been able to access the alarm.

The paralympian also faces three charges of contravening the Firearms Control Act, on which he has also denied guilt.

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InFocus

S. Africa: Pistorius Cross-Examination Ends

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel concluded his cross-examination of murder-accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius. Read more »