Pistorius trial: Prosecutor outlines '13 inconsistencies'
- 7 August 2014
- From the section Africa
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel presented a "baker's dozen" of incongruities the state says it found in Oscar Pistorius' defence case.
Mr Nel accused the athlete of telling the court a "snowball of lies," saying: "If one piece of the mosaic is moved, the rest have to move as well to keep the picture intact."
Here is a summary of each alleged inconsistency:
1. What is a "zombie stopper"? When asked in court, Mr Pistorius said he had "no idea", despite being on video using the term.
2. Did he go on to the balcony? In his bail application, Mr Pistorius said he had heard a noise from the bathroom while bringing in a fan from his balcony, but he later disputed this and blamed the discrepancy on his legal team.
3. How many fans? Mr Pistorius' bail application says one, but his plea explanation says more than one. Mr Nel says the athlete added a second fan to give Ms Steenkamp time to walk into the bathroom and make a noise in his version of events.
4. Where were the fans? Mr Pistorius says he placed fans at the end of the bed, but they were found by the balcony door. If there were suspicions of tampering, why did the defence not bring this up in their questioning of police officers, Mr Nel asks.
5. What about the duvet? That was found at the end of the bed, where Mr Pistorius said the fans should have been. This led him to create another version of events, says Mr Nel.
6. Did the police tamper with evidence? Mr Pistorius alleged that officers had moved two fans, the duvet and curtains but his lawyer again failed to raise this issue with officers, Mr Nel says, adding that blood spatter on the objects adds more doubt to the athlete's version of events.
7. This alleged tampering led Mr Pistorius to claim that the duvet had been on the bed at the time of the incident, despite being photographed on the floor by police. This led to him contradicting himself about when he last saw Ms Steenkamp, according to Mr Nel.
8. Pitch black or illuminated? Mr Nel accuses the Paralympian of saying he could not see anything when he got up, before changing his line to say that he saw the duvet over Ms Steenkamp's legs.
9. Irritating light? In order to explain how he failed to see his girlfriend leave the bed, Mr Nel says the athlete made up the story of keeping his back to the bed while trying to cover up a blue LED light emitting from an amplifier near the bed. Mr Pistorius says he did this using a pair of Ms Steenkamp's jeans.
10. Where were the jeans? Mr Nel says it is impossible that Ms Steenkamp's jeans, which Mr Pistorius says he was holding, would have ended up on top of the duvet on the floor if the duvet was not already on the floor.
11. No conversation? It is inconceivable that Mr Pistorius would not have spoken to Ms Steenkamp if he believed an intruder was in the bathroom, Mr Nel argues. He says a later conversation that Mr Pistorius cited must have been fabricated because it wasn't mentioned in his bail application, despite its importance.
12. A whisper? Mr Nel highlights Mr Pistorius first saying that he "whispered" to Ms Steenkamp, but then changed it to spoke in a "soft manner" after, Mr Nel argues, he realised "whisper" would suggest that he was in close proximity to his girlfriend.
13. Why deactivate the alarm? Mr Pistorius said he deactivated the alarm after the shooting, which Mr Nel says shows he was either calm in the aftermath or lying about the alarm.