Oscar Pistorius trial live – 11 April

Judge asks whether Pistorius is making mistakes from tiredness

Gerrie Nel questions athlete’s credibility in number of incidents

Nel admonished for calling Pistorius a liar

Nel asks Pistorius why he is getting emotional. "Because I lost the person I cared about," says Pistorius, who can be heard crying. Judge says witness is clearly in distress so the court adjourns.

Now we’re back on the fans, and the length of the cords. Screen zooms in fans at side of the bed. Lots of discussion on where the fans were because they could have obstructed Pistorius’ path to balcony. The pictures show them blocking access to balcony, but Pistorius says they have been moved since night of killing.

Pistorius grudgingly accepts that this would be so. He maintains that Steenkamp’s jeans were next to duvet.

#OscarPistorius This jeans/duvet debate is imp cos OP says the duvet was on bed and police later moved it to floor as part of tampering

Nel: if jeans are top of duvet there would be a problem for Pistorius’ version.

Barry Roux for the defence disputes that picture shows jeans on top of duvet. Nel says he wants to base his questioning that jeans are on top of duvet. Judge asks Nel to proceed.

Enlarged picture of jeans on the duvet is shown on court monitors.

Court is back.

Important to note Nel has called other accused persons "pathological liars, arrogant liars" without being reprimanded. Judge’s discretion.

Judge asks Pistorius whether he’s too tired to carry on

Pistorius admits making mistakes, but not from tiredness

Judge Masipa asks Nel to mind his language after he called Pistorius a liar and the court adjourns.

Nel returns to location of fans and duvet. Pistorius insists police moved evidence around. Nel asks rhetorically: so the police must have moved the duvet on to the floor, opened the curtains, switched on the light. Pistorius say he doesn’t know why the police would have moved things around. Roux intervenes to say photos can be misleading because of misperception.

"On the morning of the 14th I was sure of what I heard. I told Reeva to call the police. Get down and call the police," says Pistorius. Some surreal discussion of the difference between speaking in a soft manner and a whisper.

"I was frozen for a couple of second then I rushed to get my firearm next to the pedestal, then I got my firearm… told Reeva to call the police… I whispered to her. I did not look at her. I did not discuss the noise with her." Nel wonders why Pistorius did not ask Reeva "did you hear that"

Then he heard a window slide open, despite the noise of the fans. Pistorius says the noise of the window sliding and hitting the frame would have been louder than the fans.

Irritation creeps into Pistorius’ voice as he says picture shown on screen monitor showing location of large and small fans are incorrect.

We’re back on the fans. Pistorius’ voice becomes tremulous again. He brought in the fans from the balcony into the bedroom when he heard the noise. There is discussion of how much light there is the bedroom. Pistorius says there was enough light to see a silhouette of the jeans. He was bothered by a blue LCD light.

Nel moves back to the night of 13 Feb. He does jump around. Can’t be easy to have to keep up with frequent change of subjects.

Back to the fans & what Oscar did before he shot Reeva. Nel’s on his 6th topic of interrogation in under 2hrs. Keeping #Pistorius swimming

All this seems rather tangetial to the Steenkamp shooting, but it’s all part of Nel’s attempt to chip away at Pistorius’ credibility. Now Pistorius, unbidden, talks about why he got assaulted. Nel says you go looking for trouble. So that’s why Nel is bringing this all up.

Enter, one Mark Batchelor, another character in a drama that is slowly building up to the alleged assault on #OscarPistorius

Pistorius was angry at Van der Burgh for talking Taylor abroad while he was at the Olympics.

A bit of an interchange on why Pistorius doesn’t trust the police. Now we switch to 2012 incident when Pistorius said he was assaulted. The prelude to the altercation when Pistorius confronted a TV producer, Quinton Van der Burgh, over Samantha Taylor, the woman the athlete was going out with. Pistorius speaks at length about the whole episode.

Pistorius said he did not report the incident to the police because he did not have any confidence in them. The incident happened in 2008-09.

Pistorius talks more confidently now, seems on firmer ground than discussing details of his alarm system. But Nel pounces again, when Pistorius says he can’t remember who he phoned after the incident to come pick him up. Nel accuses the athlete of making it all up, which is why he doesn’t remember who he called.

From faith to fear of crime to the alarm to the highway muzzle flash. #Nel‘s spinning the merry-go-round to keep Oscar guessing #OscarTrial

Nel switches from the alarm to an incident on the highway, where Pistorius claims someone in another car shot at him. He said he saw a muzzle flash and heard a bang. Is this to keep Pistorius off-balance?

Nel then asks why he assumed there were intruders, given that the alarm hadn’t gone off. #OscarPistorius says he wasn’t thinking about alarm

It seems Nel is trying to get across to the judge that the alarm would have gone off if somebody had got into the house.

#OscarPistorius Nel hammers home point: So if you didnt make mistake becos you tired, then why?

Nel says if you’re tired, we’ll have discussions with your legal team. Pistorius chokes up. Nel is relentless. "I’m not convinced, I think you’re trying to cover a lie." Judge Masipa asks whether Pistorius is too tired to carry on. Is he making mistakes, because he is tried, she asks.

"I was not aware of any malfunction of my alarm in 2013," says Pistorius, who says he deactivated it before going downstairs to open the door. Nel seizes on this saying, saying he is changing the evidence as he goes along. Pistorius says he is tired which is why he is making mistakes.

Nel says Pistorius gave no evidence about anybody working on tampering on alarm in 2013. "it’s not that easy," says Pistorius, who wonders why his defence Barry Roux did not ask him about it. Nel is chipping away at Pistorius early.

Pistorius also says the painters could have taken off the sensors, which happened in 2012. Nel accuses Pistorius of changing his evidence on the alarm. "You’re getting deeper into trouble," says Nel.

But the athlete adds a caveat…

#Pistorius: An intruder could have taken beacon off wall to disable alarm. I didn’t know what work they’d done at the time in the house.

Pistorius says he was seldom at his home because of his extensive travel. Nel asks him to explain the alarm system. Pistorius says the alarm was activated inside and outside on that night.

The chief prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, questions Pistorius about his not going to the police despite being burgled, when he lived at another location. But no burglaries at Silver Woods, where he was living at the time of the shooting (except when police stole his watches, he tells the court). Nel is trying to get across that Silverwoods was a very safe location.

Day three of the cross examination is about to start, about nine minutes late.

This tweet from the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani gives an idea of the blanket coverage the trial is getting in South Africa

It’s been a tough week for Oscar Pistorius as chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel came out guns blazing. He has sought to portray the athlete as selfish and aggressive, who publicly humiliated Steenkamp on several occasions. Nel also sought to portray the athlete as not just obsessed with guns but negligent, particularly when a gun he was handling under a restaurant table went off. Pistorius refused to acknowledge that he pulled the trigger prompting Nel to say that this was typical of his inability to take responsibility for his actions. When the court adjourned yesterday Nel was questioning the runner how he could not have seen Steenkamp when he got up to move the fans.

You can read David Smith’s account of yesterday’s events here.

Continue reading…

Link to article: feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663879/s/393d34c4/sc/8/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Cworld0C20A140Capr0C110Coscar0Epistorius0Etrial0Elive0E110Eapril/story01.htm


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