The prosecution in the trial of Oscar Pistorius has wrapped up its cross-examination of the Paralympian. The South African sprinter stands accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend.
The prosecution lawyer, Gerrie Nel, concluded five days of cross-examining the South African sprinter on Tuesday by accusing him of deliberately shooting Reeva Steenkamp to death on the night of February 14, 2013.
"You fired four shots through the door whilst knowing that she was standing behind the door, " Nel said. "She was locked into the bathroom and you armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her."
"I do not agree," countered the 27-year-old Pistorius, who has admitted to firing the shots that killed Steenkamp, but has repeatedly claimed that when he did so, he believed he was firing at intruders and feared for his life.
The prosecutor also accused the defendant of making things up in an effort to prove that he did not deliberately kill his 29-year-old girlfriend, who worked as a model.
"You are thinking of a version constantly and not dealing with the question," Nel said. "It's getting more and more improbable and you're tailoring more and more as we go on."
Over the five days of cross-examination, prosecutor Nel has been credited with drawing attention to apparent inconsistencies in Pistorius' version of events, suggesting that testifying may have left Pistorius in a weaker position than when he first took the stand.
At times during the trial, the sprinter, who has been dubbed the “blade runner” for the style of prosthetic legs he wears in competition, has appeared emotionally distressed, breaking down in tears on several occasions.
After the prosecutor concluded his cross-examination, the defense began its line of questioning.
If found guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius, who also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, could face life in prison.
The trial, which is expected to run into next month, has drawn broad international media interest.
pfd/msh (Reuters, dpa, AP)