Oscar Pistorius’ defence team ready to rest case

2014-07-07 15:55

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has heard what will most likely be the final testimony in the murder trial.

Defence advocate Barry Roux today told the North Gauteng High Court that he was, on the face of it, ready to close his case, but asked for the matter to stand down until tomorrow morning for the defence to consult one final time.

The final witness to testify for the defence was its star witness, Professor Wayne Derman, whose cross-examination was finalised by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Nel today concluded his cross-examination by saying that Derman’s evidence was irrelevant on whether Pistorius intended to kill the person behind the door on the night he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

“If the court will accept the accused’s version that he – with intention to kill – shot the person behind the door, that’s what he wanted to (do) and that’s what he did.”

Derman replied that he understood that.

“I put it to you that your evidence in no way affects his intention on the night,” said Nel.

When Nel asked Derman if he wanted to comment as an expert, Derman said: “From what I understand, My Lady, it was his intention to shoot.”

Derman had said in his testimony-in-chief that Pistorius was vulnerable and anxious as a result of his disability and that the three noises he heard on the night he killed Steenkamp had caused him to have an exaggerated fight-or-flight response.

He testified that Pistorius would ultimately have less conscious control over his actions when under the influence of a fight-or-flight response.

When defence advocate Kenny Oldwadge re-examined Derman, he asked if it had been possible for Pistorius to simply walk away from the threat that night.

“If one believes the perceived threat is going to overwhelm you, to run much faster than you and actually catch you and harm you, then the fleeing and the flight is not possible, and we’re left with only the fight response,” said Derman.

If Roux closes his case tomorrow morning, the matter will most likely be postponed to allow for both sides to prepare their closing arguments.

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