Pistorius trial: appeal underway

2015-11-04 12:38
ADV. GERRIE NEL Photo: Conrad Bornman

ADV. GERRIE NEL Photo: Conrad Bornman

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QUESTIONS have been raised in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) over how Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa had dealt with the evidence in Oscar Pistorius’s trial. Gerrie Nel, for the state, argued she had not looked at the circumstantial evidence holistically and had instead paid “lip service” in her judgement.

“The court never went back to discuss the circumstantial evidence of what had happened in the bedroom,” said Nel. “The court failed to take into account what had happened just before [the shooting] and that is the most important aspect of this trial.”

Five SCA judges were hearing the state’s appeal of his culpable homicide conviction.

Nel said the court accepted what Pistorius had testified about his thinking, actions and motives, but that this was not in line with the trial court’s finding of his credibility.

The prosecutor acknowledged at the start that he was not happy with the trial court’s factual findings. However, he aimed to be “very cautious” not to attack the factual findings, but to deal with errors in law.

He also made out a case for the validity of the appeal in light of the court making a conviction on a “competent verdict”.

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