Pistorius tailoring evidence: Nel

By Drum Digital
11 April 2014

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued badgering Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of lying and tailoring his evidence.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued badgering paralympian Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of lying and tailoring his evidence, in his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday morning. Nel attacked a claim by Pistorius that he deactivated his alarm after he left his bedroom to go downstairs, after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on February 14 last year. This was to let in Johan Stander, who is in charge of security at the Silver Woods Estate where Pistorius lived, shortly after the shooting.

"Before I left my room to go downstairs I deactivated the alarm," Pistorius said.

He is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp.

He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to come out and attack him.

Nel pointed out that in his evidence-in-chief Pistorius said he "must have" switched his alarm off.

"'Must have' was never said. Why are you tailoring your evidence?" Nel asked.

"Tailoring evidence" means an accused is adapting his version of events to match the facts the prosecution presents him with. "It was a mistake... I'm tired, My Lady," Pistorius replied in a monotone voice, keeping his eyes on Judge Thokozile Masipa. Pistorius continued by adding: "I don't have any recollection of switching it off."

"I'm not convinced about your answer. Now I think you're covering up for lies," said Nel.

Masipa then intervened and cautioned Pistorius that he "should be all here" and that if he was too tired to proceed he should say so.

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

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