Closing arguments began in the Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria, South Africa, today, where Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius is on trial for the killing of 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel presented the summation of more than 100 pages of closing arguments today, and the defense Barry Roux is expected to provide his closing on Friday of this week according to the CBC today. The CBC reports August 7 that prosecutor Gerrie Nel did not hold anything back in closing today, and is closing the case for the State with a presentation of the many lies that Oscar Pistorius told during the Oscar Pistorius trial, and describing Oscar Pistorius as the "worst witness ever." CBC is also reporting that for the first time, the father of the victim Barry Steenkamp was in court today to hear the closing arguments in the trial of the century where justice for his beloved Reeva Steenkamp is at the front and center.
CBC has reported today that nothing was off the table when Prosecutor summed up his closing arguments in the Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria, South Africa today. Prosecutor for the State argued that just about everything the defense had done in this case, was wrong. Gerrie Nel called Oscar an "appalling witness", introduced many of the multiple lies he alleges Oscar told, and criticized the Oscar Pistorius defense team for not being able to decide what theory they had for that night.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel harshly criticized the last theory presented by the last witness for the defense, the one that suggested Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva due to a "startle response." Nel argued that it can't be both theories, the defense must present either the "I thought it was an intruder" defense, or the "I was startled" defense, but not both. He said,
"It's two defenses that you can never reconcile."
The State is alleging that Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp got into a fight that evening, and have presented forensics that contradicts the timeline of Oscar's version of events. The State alleges that Reeva was scared and ran into the bathroom that evening, and in an angry rage Oscar shot through the door 4 times and killed her.
As the State presented many detailed and graphic photos and forensic evidence throughout the course of the Oscar Pistorius trial, Oscar Pistorius's reactions were very dramatic. From wailing and crying in court, to vomiting at the sight of crime scene photos, Oscar's antics in court have been discussed all across the world. They have also been presented as evidence against him in the State's closing arguments.
In his closing, Gerrie Nel said,
"We cannot argue that the was the worst witness ever, that honour belongs to someone else. The accused was, however, demonstrably one of the worst witnesses ever encountered and….used well-calculated and rehearsed emotional outburst to deflect the attention and avoid having to answer questions."
Oscar is facing and has pled not guilty to a total of 4 charges, a first degree murder charge and 3 gun charges. The defense will provide its closing arguments on Friday, and CBC reports it appears that Judge Masipa is hoping to move things along quickly after that. The CBC is reporting that Judge Masipa has asserted she is hoping the closing ends on Friday, stating with a smile,
"Unless of course you want to work on a Saturday and perhaps Sunday after church."
The defense is expected to present a case in closing arguments tomorrow that they hope will substantiate Oscar's "I thought it was an intruder" defense. But the parents of the victim Reeva Steenkamp cringe at the very word mistake in relation to the death of their daughter. June Steenkamp recently told the Discovery Channel,
"I'm not revengeful, I can forgive and move on, but [June takes a deep breath] he has killed her. Even if he made a mistake. It's a HUGE mistake, it cost her her life, and us, cost us Reeva's life."
Her husband, and the man that will never see Reeva in a wedding dress one day, looks down at a photograph of Reeva wearing one in a modelling shoot and also sighs deeply before he can talk about the potential "mistake" that Oscar Pistorius may or may not have made. He told the Discovery Channel,
"I've got my own feelings inside as to what happened. But what I do want to do, is just, to have a chat man to man, guilty or not guilty or whatever it is. I…would like to have a talk. That would help me a lot."
The Telegraph UK is also reporting live today out of Pretoria, South Africa, that Judge Masipa will deliberate over this case with her two advisors. The Telegraph is also hinting that Judge Masipa has a full docket and wants this trial to close soon, though that does not mean it will necessarily occur in a matter of days.
Following closing from the defense tomorrow, the Telegraph reports that Judge Masipa will adjourn to deliberate her judgment with her colleagues. The Telegraph estimates today that could be as short as within two weeks, but as long as six.
In a previous and separate report chronicling the timeline until verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial, the Telegraph reported that once closing arguments are submitted and the abridged versions presented, the judge will provide a date when the verdict will be read in court. These first of two steps will be completed as soon as Barry Roux presents his closings for the defense.
We may hear as early as tomorrow then on what date the verdict will be read. As the courts are currently in about the second week of this process, that means a verdict could come in as early as next week.
Oscar Pistorius faces 25 years in South Africa prison if he is convicted of first degree murder, up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, as many as 5 years for each gun charge he is facing. SABC News is reporting in the video shown here how Barry Roux plans to begin his own closing arguments, reporting today out of Pretoria, South Africa.
The burden is on the prosecution to present evidence that supports their claims of premeditated murder in the Oscar Pistorius trial beyond a reasonable doubt. Do you think the Prosecution has established their case beyond a reasonable doubt?