Oscar will take the stand

2014-03-25 18:04

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Oscar Pistorius will take the stand in his televised murder trial, his defence team confirmed today as the state closed its case against the athlete after 15 days in court.

“I don’t think we have a choice. The question is when,” Brian Webber told reporters at the high court in Pretoria when asked if Pretorius will testify.

Minutes earlier, prosecutor Gerrie Nel had closed his case. “If it pleases the court, My Lady, learned assessors, this is the state’s case,” he said.

Nel did so after leading evidence this week about intimate text messages Pistorius exchanged with Reeva Steenkamp that attested to strife in their relationship before he shot her on Valentine’s Day last year.

But many other messages, it emerged today, were affectionate and suggested the couple were eager to resolve their differences.

In a message Steenkamp sent Pistorius on January 27, she wrote: “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me.”

The model and law graduate complained that Pistorius had been cold and hyper-critical towards her, concluding that they were “living in a double standard relationship”.

“I do everything to make you happy and you do everything to throw tantrums...”

Transcripts of the messages were read out by police cellphone expert Captain Francois Moller who downloaded 1 709 messages the couple had sent to each other. He readily conceded under cross-examination from Pistorius’ lawyer, Barry Roux, that at least 90% of these were “loving”.

Said Roux: “So there was a disagreement but if you look at the emails it was resolved very quickly.”

Moller responded: “That’s correct, My Lady,” and, at Roux’s instruction, proceeded to read a message Steenkamp sent Pistorius asking whether she could cook for him on Valentine’s Day.

Pistorius replied: “I’d love that, nunu”.

Roux stressed that most exchanges ended with several crosses indicating kisses.

The state contends that Pistorius, who wept when hearing the messages read out in court, had shot Steenkamp after an argument.

The double amputee denied this in his plea submission and claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

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