Prosecutor tells Pistorius: 'Your version is a lie'
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:23
April 10 - A South African prosecutor accuses Oscar Pistorius of lying and altering his story during his murder trial, as two legal experts weigh in on the progress of the case. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Oscar Pistorius was accused of lying in his murder trial on Thursday.
The South African Olympic track star, seen arriving at court to give another day of testimony, is charged with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year.
The prosecutor in the case is Gerrie Nell, one of the country's toughest attorneys, nicknamed "The Pitbull".
In fierce questioning, Nell cross-examined Pistorius on Thursday about the night of the shooting.
Pistorius' account of what happened doesn't match up with the placement of objects in crime scene photos; curtains, duvets, fans and such things.
Pistorius accuses police of tampering with evidence.
The prosecution calls that ridiculous.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROSECUTOR GERRIE NEL, SAYING:
"You see because, Mr. Pistorius your version is a lie. ...That's why you have to come up with things because now we have to look for a policeman to do the following; that moved the duvet to the carpet, that moved the fan back, that moved the curtain more open, those three things, am I right?"
Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp at his Pretoria home, thinking she was an intruder.
It's a common fear in crime-obsessed South Africa.
The prosecution says the couple had a heated discussion before, and that the killing was intentional.
But with no direct witnesses, it has to pick holes into Pristorius' testimony, says legal expert Mannie Witz outside Pretoria High Court.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ADVOCATE, MANNIE WITZ, SAYING:
"In other words, to show that at the end of the day, the court, when weighing up the totality of evidence, might consider not accepting his evidence, that he's not a credible, and in fact in certain aspects he's not being truthful with the court, that's what we've seen so far."
Pistorius faces charges of murder and culpable homicide.
It's that second charge that would worry attorney Riaan Louw, who says South African law is not in Pistorius' favor.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY, RIAAN LOUW, SAYING:
"The one at which I'm looking, he's got problems at this stage, will be the culpable homicide. The reason for that, you only need one percent of negligence in our law to be able to convict a person, and I think the State might have at this stage already achieved that."
The double amputee sprinter was once revered for triumphing over adversity.
Now he faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.
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