South African prosecutor asks judge to reject Pistorius' defense

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 07, 2014 4:13 AM

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South African state prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the judge in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial on Thursday to reject the Paralympic and Olympic track star's defense because it was "devoid of any truth".

Pistorius, who had his lower legs amputated as a baby, is accused of murdering his law graduate and model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day last year. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Since the trial opened in early March, Nel has portrayed Pistorius as a gun-obsessed hot-head who shot 29-year-old Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door where she was taking refuge after a heated argument.

The defense team says the track star was a vulnerable and caring boyfriend who killed Steenkamp in a tragic accident after mistaking her for an intruder hiding behind the door.

"We will argue that the accused's version should be rejected," Nel told the Pretoria court during his closing arguments.

"If the accused version is rejected it means my lady that there was no perceived intruder whatsoever."

Enough's Enough
Walter E. Williams

Pistorius sat impassively through the opening minutes of the proceedings, which are expected to last two days. After that, judge Thokozile Masipa, who has more than 4,000 pages of evidence to review, will retire to consider her verdict.

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Ed Cropley)