Oscar trial adjourned for the week

2014-07-03 17:03
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The murder trial of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius adjourned in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Judge Thokozile Masipa granted the request by prosecutor Gerrie Nel to allow him time to consult a State psychiatrist.

Nel had not concluded his cross-examination of sports and exercise medicine professor at the University of Cape Town, Wayne Derman.

Nel accused Derman of bias and adapting his facts to fit what happened on the night of 14 February 2013, when Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home.

Derman was asked about what Pistorius did after hearing the initial sound which startled him and alerted him to potential fear in his bedroom.

Pistorius has claimed he was woken in the early hours of 14 February by the sound of his bathroom window sliding open.

"Walking down the passage, even in fight mode, with gun in hand his intention was to shoot. You agree?" Nel asked.

"That is correct," Derman said.

"The clear intention was to shoot if he came across someone," Nel said.

"I suppose if he came across someone he would shoot," Derman said.

Derman was asked what effect the second noise, of the toilet door closing, had on the athlete.

"He had a second startle. I cannot recall what that led him to do. I think he turned towards the door, but I cannot recall. I would have to read the record... He was looking between the window and the door," Derman said.

Nel again accused him of wanting to fit certain facts into the recorded version of what happened that night.

"Isn't it, sir, that you are trying to fit the facts you can remember into the startles? You want to fit the facts into your version," Nel said.

Derman said a third noise, which stimulated the third startle response, culminated in the shooting.

Nel put it to Derman that Pistorius wanted to kill the person who made that sound inside the toilet.

"He fired at the sound, I'm sure it was to nullify the threat," he told the court.

Pistorius faces a murder charge. He claims he shot Steenkamp by accident through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home, thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him.

The State argues he killed her during an argument.

- SAPA
Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  thokolize masipa  |  oscar pistorius  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial  |  crime
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