Pistorius tailoring evidence - Nel

2014-04-14 12:22
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 22

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Pretoria - Paralympian murder-accused Oscar Pistorius is tailoring evidence on the noise he heard in the toilet the night he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Monday.

"The noise was hard. The sliding of the window and it hitting the window frame - it was clear," Pistorius said describing the noise he heard on the night.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned Pistorius on why he did not mention the noise in his bail application if he was so certain about it.

"If you were so convinced of the window sliding open and slamming into the other window, why would you not put that in the bail statement?" he asked.

Pistorius responded: "I said I heard a noise.

"My bail was done by my legal team and it was read to me in my holding cell... I was on medication..."

In shock

He said he was tired and in shock at what had happened.

Nel responded: "You see Mr Pistorius - tailoring.

"I'm still concerned... you did not say you heard it open - that's tailoring."

Nel also questioned Pistorius on why, if the noise was so clear, Steenkamp had not said anything.

"If Reeva was in bed, she would've heard that as well. Would you then not have expected a conversation?" Nel asked.

Pistorius responded: "If she was there she would've been as scared as I was... There wouldn't be a response."

Nel said: "Mr Pistorius you don't want to concede on anything. Not even when we speculate.

"That doesn't make sense. That is not true - it's improbable."

However, Pistorius said if Steenkamp was scared she would not have said anything.

Nel said a reasonable person would have asked why Pistorius would get up, especially after she asked him if he could not sleep.

"Because your version is improbable. One would expect her to ask where you are going," Nel said.

Pistorius said he did not know what Steenkamp would have said or what he would expect her to day.

"I don't know if she was fully awake. I don't know what she was thinking," the athlete said.

"I've been awake at night when someone got up and I didn't asked them where they were going."

Nel told Pistorius to answer questions without thinking of the possible implications.

Whisper

Pistorius also denied whispering to Steenkamp to call the police.

"When you armed yourself, what did you say," Nel asked him.

"I asked her to get down and call the police," said Pistorius.

"It was in low tone," he said.

"You said you whispered," said Nel, explaining that Pistorius said this in his evidence-in chief.

"No, I said I spoke in a low tone," Pistorius responded.

Aiming to prove his point, Nel referred Pistorius back to the court record where it showed that Pistorius said he had whispered to her.

"A whisper... You wouldn't know that she heard," said Nel.

Pistorius was adamant that he spoke in a low tone which would have been loud enough for Steenkamp to hear.

"I'm not choosing something to suit me," Pistorius said.

Create time

Pistorius has to create time in his version of when Steenkamp got out of bed and went to the toilet, Nel said earlier.

"You have to create time. You have to, on your version, build in a time gap for Reeva to go into the bathroom," Nel said while cross-examining the athlete.

"That's not correct my lady," Pistorius replied not looking at Nel, but speaking directly to Judge Thokozile Masipa.

"I'm not trying to buy time. I'm simply saying it as it is."

Nel questioned Pistorius on the LED light on his amplifier that had bothered him that night. During his evidence-in-chief Pistorius said he picked up Steenkamp's denim jeans to cover the blue light.

On Monday, Nel displayed a photograph of the amplifier and asked the athlete to identify the light that was bothering him.

Pistorius said the blue light was the only light on in the room. He said there was a "tiny, tiny" light on the switch. Nel and Pistorius disagreed on the lights on the amplifier.

Nel asked: "Do you know what it means if that blue light is on?"

Pistorius replied: "I don't my lady."

"It means the amplifier is on," Nel said.

He said the first time Pistorius mentioned the blue light was during his evidence-in-chief last week, and it was not mentioned in his bail application or his plea statement.

Nel said if Pistorius switched off the amplifier the light would go off.

"I'm not sure if the light goes off," Pistorius said.

"I possibly did try and switch it off... But I don't remember."

Nel checks on Pistorius

After receiving several "I'm not sure" answers from Pistorius, Nel checked on him.

"Today I pick up you're not sure a lot... Is everything OK?" Nel asked.

"Yes, my lady," Pistorius said, directing his answer to Masipa.

Nel also asked Pistorius why he was rubbing his eyes at times.

Pistorius said his eyes were sore.

Nel sternly asked him why his eyes were suddenly sore or whether they had been this way for some time.

Masipa came to Pistorius's defence.

"I've been watching the witness for a while. He has been touching his eyes," Masipa said.

Steenkamp was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on 14 February last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder.

Pistorius has been charged with her murder.

He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.


- SAPA

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial
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