Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives for the closing arguments of his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria August 7, 2014. Pistorius is accused of killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
PRETORIA – Oscar Pistorius’s version of events on the night he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp are so improbable that he told at least 13 lies.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, in laying out his final arguments in the North Gauteng High Court, has already asked the court to disallow the three different defences put forward by the Paralympian.
“His tailoring of evidence was so significant that we have numbered the incongruencies and have come up with a baker’s dozen,” Nel said.
ONE: Pistorius had confidently stated that he had no idea what a “zombie stopper” was. He then said he could not recall having heard the word. Confronted with video evidence, he conceded having used the term himself.
TWO: After realising that he needed to be in the bedroom for his version to hold true, Pistorius changed his original statement that he was on the balcony when he first heard the alleged intruder and then later blamed his lawyer Barry Roux for the mistake.
THREE: Confronted by the need to create time for Steenkamp to have got out of bed and gone to the toilet without him noticing her, Pistorius “created another fan”. But he had then been unable to show where this fan would have been plugged in when confronted with the fact that there were no available sockets that could have been used.
“This is so impossible that it’s a clear indication of mendacity and deceitfulness,” Nel said.
FOUR: Pistorius claimed that he moved the fans to the bottom of the bed. But this could not be true because the duvet was lying on the floor at the foot of the bed. If this was what the defence version was, then Pistorius’s counsel should have challenged the evidence of police witnesses who testified that the scene had been photographed undisturbed.
“No reason for this was advanced,” Nel stated, adding that the only inference to be drawn was evidence tailoring.
FIVE: Pistorius’s contention that the fans were at the base of the bed meant that he now had to say where the duvet would have been – and he claimed that it had been on the bed, but he could not remember where on the bed.
“Saying the duvet was not on the floor is not a version. It’s a knee jerk reaction to a version that was already improbable,” Nel said.
SIX: Blood spatter on the carpet and duvet show that police could not have tampered with the scene.
“Unless he is saying that the police moved the curtains, fans and other evidence with astounding foresight without knowing what the accused’s version would be. It is an incomprehensible, inexplicable conspiracy theory. Only reasonable inference is that accused tailored a version as he continued with his evidence. If it was his version from the start, his counsel would have dealt with this.”
SEVEN: Failure to deal with the duvet then led to Pistorius contradicting himself on when he last saw Steenkamp.
EIGHT: Pistorius said he never saw Steenkamp going to the toilet.
“But the court will have no option but to accept that the accused knew the deceased was in the toilet and he fired to kill her.”
NINE: Pistorius’s claims that he picked up Steenkamp’s jeans in order to cover the blue light on his amplifier was concocted to explain why he had his back to the bed at all time.
TEN: A further “domino effect” of Pistorius’s attempts to buy time meant that the jeans that were in his hand then landed on top of the duvet which he had claimed had never been on the floor.
“We say this is an aspect that the accused cannot explain. When confronted, his real attitude came forward when he chose not to answer and referred to police picking up his gun and moving the cricket bat a tiny bit. Why did the defence not deal with this if they felt a major manipulation had occurred?”
ELEVEN: During the trial, Pistorius introduced a middle-of-the-night conversation with Steenkamp which he had never mentioned in earlier statements. He then failed to speak to Steenkamp after allegedly hearing a noise. This was improbable behavior in light of the fact that every witness testified to having engaged with their partners after hearing noises in the night.
TWELVE: Pistorius originally claimed to having whispered to Steenkamp. But after realising this implied closeness, he changed his version to say he spoke in a soft manner.
THIRTEEN: While Pistorius had remembered many details and sequences, he had no recollection at all of having switched off his alarm – making it likely that the alarm had never been switched on as he had claimed. He had also kept his cellphone with him at all times and even plugged it into the charger in the kitchen sometime before he carried Steenkamp’s body down the stairs.
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