News / Africa

Prosecution Portrays Self-Centered Pistorius

Prosecutors in South Africa Portray Pistorius as Self-Centeredi
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Pamela Dockins
April 10, 2014 4:24 PM
Prosecutors have attempted to portray South African athlete Oscar Pistorius as self-centered and abusive during a second day of cross-examination in his murder trial. Their questions have focused on Pistorius' relationship with his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, and the apology he gave to her family for her shooting death. VOA's Pam Dockins explains.

Prosecutors in South Africa Portray Pistorius as Self-Centered

VOA News
South African runner Oscar Pistorius returned to the witness stand in his murder trial Thursday, as prosecutors tried to portray him as self-centered in his relationship with girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel focused on the apology Pistorius made when he first began his testimony this week, saying the athlete chose to make a spectacle in the courtroom rather than apologize in private.
 
Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
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Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
Nel: “The word 'I’m sorry I killed her' is not there. You’re sorry that you have to think of them, you’re sorry for their pain and sorrow, but you’re not sorry that you killed their daughter; it’s not in there,” said Nel.

Pistorius: “I’m terribly sorry that I took the life of their daughter, my lady.”

Nel: “Now you say that.”

Pistorius said he did not have the chance to meet with Steenkamp's family, and that he believed they would not want to talk to him.

Negligent firearm owner

Nel also brought up the three lesser firearm-related charges in the case, which involve allegations of a gun going off in a restaurant and a car, as well as illegally possessing certain ammunition.

Pistorius said his understanding was that he was not illegally in possession of the ammunition, that his finger was not on the trigger when the gun went off at the restaurant and that witnesses lied about the other incident.

Nel repeatedly accused Pistorius of not taking responsibility and being a negligent firearm owner.

Temper

The prosecutor also returned to a series of text messages that defense lawyers used during their questioning of Pistorius, including one in which Steenkamp said she was scared of Pistorius at times.
FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
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FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
Pistorius said she meant she was scared of how he reacted to things, but that he never shouted or screamed at her.  

He also denied earlier testimony by his former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, saying she lied when she told the court he had screamed at her during their relationship.

The tough cross-examination began Wednesday with Nel pressing Pistorius to take responsibility for killing Steenkamp, and telling him to look at a graphic picture of her bloodied head displayed on a monitor in the courtroom.

Prosecutors say Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp at his home last year.  If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

The athlete says he thought he was shooting an intruder when he fired shots through a locked backroom door.
 
  • Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, April 14, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 10, 2014.
  • Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
  • Family members, including uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, cry as they listen to Oscar Pistorius testifying in court in Pretoria, April 8, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius becomes emotional during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, April 7, 2014.
  • Members of the public crowd around Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the high court, Pretoria, March 12, 2014.

  • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl at his indictment at the magistrates court in Pretoria, August 19, 2013.
  • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, Feb. 14, 2013.
  • Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Jan. 26, 2013.
  • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sept. 8, 2012.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
April 10, 2014 2:40 PM
The lady run and locked herself in bathroom when this man took firearm .hang him


by: Timothy
April 10, 2014 11:31 AM
Oscar's demeanour and softly spoken voice in Court conveys the impression that he is a gentle person, but for Reeva to say in one of those SMS messages read into the Court Record, that she was sometimes afraid of him, illustrates there is another side to his character, which was unknown. The Prosecutor Mr Nel, should question him on this particular message. But no doubt he will try and explain it away with an ambiguous explanation.


by: Steve Z from: USA
April 10, 2014 7:33 AM
Perfect example of why some people should not be allowed to possess firearms. Even if it was a burglar, no one just shoots through a door 4 times without so much as a warning? Totally irresponsible and manslaughter at the least.

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