8 August 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Trial - Closing Arguments, Day Two

Photo: PHOTOESSAY: Judgement Day for Oscar Pistorius

Judge Thokozile Masipa reads her verdict in the trial of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on charges arising from the shooting and killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in their apartment in Pretoria in 2013.


The North Gauteng High Court will today continue to hear closing arguments in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Yesterday saw Gerrie Nel conclude his arguments for the state, admitting that the evidence against Pistorius is mainly circumstantial, but in totality, sufficiently damning. Today is the last chance for the defence to argue that their client should escape a conviction for murder. By REBECCA DAVIS

09.00 With Judge Masipa having stated yesterday that she is not available at all next week, we know that the airing of closing arguments in the Pistorius trial must wrap up today.

The general consensus seems to be that Gerrie Nel did a solid job in his summation. Wits law professor James Grant has an op-ed in the Telegraph today arguing in conclusion:

"When these pieces of evidence are considered in light of the poor impression [Pistorius] probably made as a witness, especially when he claimed that, at the crucial times, the gun simply discharged "by itself", in my view, the reasonableness of any doubts about his guilt start to fade."

There are holes in Nel's case, however, that Barry Roux will undoubtedly seek to exploit today. One is the timeline in terms of the noises...

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