Oscar Pistorius defense: Prosecutors twisted facts to discredit athlete
Oscar Pistorius’ lawyer has said in closing remarks that prosecutors have twisted the facts to discredit the South African athlete in his murder trial.
Barry Roux said Oscar Pistorius should have faced a lesser charge of culpable homicide over the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Oscar Pistorius, 27, denies prosecution claims that he deliberately shot Reeva Steenkamp.
Barry Roux conceded that he should be found guilty for negligence for discharging a firearm in a restaurant.
Oscar Pistorius pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.
In the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, Oscar Pistorius says he mistook his girlfriend – a model and law graduate – for an intruder when he shot her through a toilet door in his home in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.
Once concluding arguments are finished, Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa is expected to adjourn the trial to consider her ruling. Analysts say this process could take between a week and a month as she has 4,000 pages of evidence to consider.
The prosecution is trying to characterize Oscar Pistorius as a “hothead” who intentionally killed Reeva Steenkamp after an argument.
His defense team wants to portray him as having a heightened response to perceived danger due to his disability and background.
In court on Friday, Barry Roux said growing up with a disability conditioned Oscar Pistorius always to confront danger because he could not flee.
He described it as a “slow burn” of insecurities and compared it to an abused woman shooting her abuser.
Barry Roux also dealt with phone data evidence on the night of the shooting to show that the timeline of events fits the defense’s argument that Oscar Pistorius fired the shots at the toilet door first on his stumps.
Realizing he had shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake, the defense says Oscar Pistorius put on his prosthetics and used a cricket bat to knock down the door at 03.17 local time – five minutes after he says shots were fired.
The prosecution alleges that the noises heard at 03.17 were the shots being fired.
Barry Roux said analysis of the evidence showed there was anxious high-pitched screaming followed by shouts of “help, help, help” between the two sounds, which near neighbors say were made by a man, not a woman as other witnesses testified.
Earlier, the defense said that there had been “no respect for the crime scene”, saying the state’s case was discredited as Oscar Pistorius’ house was tampered with inadvertently, with a fan and duvet being moved.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, in his closing statement on Thursday, argued the athlete “cannot escape” a murder conviction, accusing him of being a “deceitful witness” who told the court a “snowball of lies”.
Known as the “bull terrier”, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the athlete’s lawyers had presented two lines of defense that “can never be reconciled”.
Oscar Pistorius said he had fired both involuntarily and also out of fear, Gerrie Nel argued, insisting the court had to choose only one of his defenses.
Last month, a psychiatric report said Oscar Pistorius had post-traumatic stress disorder but no mental illness that could prevent him being held criminally responsible for his actions.
[youtube v2YfzmWLVPk 650]