Roux: Cold facts do not prove murder

2014-08-08 12:16
(Herman Verwey, Sapa)

(Herman Verwey, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius's defence lawyer said on Friday the “cold facts” did not prove the star sprinter had intended to kill his model girlfriend, as he launched a final bid to save the "Blade Runner" from life in prison.

In his closing argument, fiery defence lawyer Barry Roux sought to pick apart the prosecution's case that his famous client had deliberately murdered 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp after an argument in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

Roux accused the state of ignoring evidence from Pistorius's upmarket Pretoria home that did not support its "circumstantial" case, a day after the prosecution painted the athlete as a liar.

"The failure of the state to present that evidence leaves one big question mark," said Roux, "that's the failure of the State's case."

He argued that evidence suggested Pistorius should never have faced murder charges, but rather the trial should have begun with a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

On Thursday Pistorius, a Paralympian known as the "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, was branded a "deceitful" witness by prosecutor Gerrie Nel in his final arguments.

Pistorius's efforts to concoct an alibi had led to a "snowball effect" of lies requiring more lies to back them up, Nel said.

The athlete says he killed Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home on the night of Valentine's Day last year.

The prosecution argues that he deliberately killed her after an argument.

"In an attempt to tailor his version to support his plea explanation, he tangled himself in a web," said Nel.

Misleading statements

Summing up the State's meticulous 200-page review of evidence gleaned from almost 40 witnesses, Nel said Pistorius, 27, was guilty of "a baker's dozen" of misleading statements.

Nel addressed the court for most of the day on Thursday before the defence had a brief opportunity to outline the counter-arguments it will present on Friday.

Roux has indicated that he will focus on the timeline of events the night of the shooting, from disputed sounds of gunshots and equally disputed sounds of screams heard by neighbours.

Pistorius, a double-amputee who rose to international fame when he competed alongside able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics, has at times sat weeping and vomiting in the dock as grisly details of Steenkamp's death were presented.

Once a poster boy for disabled sport, he has been stripped of lucrative endorsement deals by global brands and has withdrawn from all competition.

He faces 25 years in jail if he is convicted of premeditated murder. He also faces three separate gun-related charges.

Even if he is not found guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius could still be convicted and jailed on alternative charges of culpable homicide.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.