Wraps Up Five-Day Pistorius Grilling
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[April 15, 2014]
By Nomatter Ndebele
PRETORIA (Reuters) — The prosecutor in the
murder trial of Oscar Pistorius ended his five-day cross-examination of
the double amputee track star on Tuesday with a stark summary of how he
shot his girlfriend, insisting he killed her deliberately after an
"You fired four shots through the door whilst knowing that she was
standing behind the door," said prosecutor Gerrie Nel, known in
South Africa as "The Pitbull" for his hectoring and relentless style
"She was locked into the bathroom and you armed yourself with the
sole purpose of shooting and killing her," he continued.
"That is not true," said the 27-year-old Pistorius, who faces life
in prison if convicted of murder.
Pistorius broken into tears on many occasions during the
questioning, and at one point retched into a bucket on the witness
stand after being shown grisly pictures of Reeva Steenkamp after the
shooting on Valentine's Day last year.
He insists he killed the 29-year-old law graduate and model
accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder hiding behind a
closed toilet door.
On Tuesday the athlete's voice quivered as he recounted how he was
"overcome with terror and despair" on finding her bloodied body
slumped against the toilet after he broke down the door with a
"I was broken, I was overcome, filled with sadness," he told judge
Thokozile Masipa, adding he urged her to hold on while he sought
help from neighbors at his high security Pretoria residence.
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The trial has drawn wide interest both in South Africa and abroad,
with opinion divided as to whether Pistorius did or did not mean to
Before the shooting, Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated as a
baby, was one of South Africa's most revered sportsmen, admired for
his prowess on the race track using carbon-fiber prosthetics that
earned him the nickname "The Blade Runner".
(Reporting by Nomatter Ndebele; writing by Stella Mapenzauswa;
editing by Ed Cropley)
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