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Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor laughed scornfully at an answer from Oscar Pistorius during the Olympic athlete’s murder trial Thursday, mocking the man who shot his girlfriend. The judge sternly instructed the prosecutor to restrain himself and he apologized – then went right back to trying to pick holes in the testimony of the double-amputee runner.

It was a harsh day of cross-examination for Pistorius, challenged relentlessly about his account of the moments just before he killed Reeva Steenkamp, as well as circumstances related to several firearms charges against him, including the firing of a gun in a crowded restaurant.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel often sought to goad Pistorius, accusing him of being self-obsessed and hiding the truth about the death of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model whom he shot through a closed toilet door in his home.

Dressed in a dark suit, Pistorius, 27, responded methodically and in a soft monotone, and only occasionally did his voice rise. He did not break down in tears as he has previously this week in the witness box and did not look at Nel, instead facing the red-robed judge, Thokozile Masipa, on the dais.

The prosecutor seized on virtually every opportunity to challenge the star athlete’s credibility, asserting that he had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the gun charges he faces on top of murder. In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty, Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying that he killed Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was an intruder, in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Nel briefly erupted in laughter after Pistorius suggested that two witnesses who said they once saw him shoot out of a car sunroof had collaborated and fabricated their accounts.

“I apologize for laughing, I won’t do it again,” Nel said after people in the gallery murmured in surprise at his outburst.

Masipa sternly cautioned him: “If you possibly think this is entertaining, it’s not. So please restrain yourself.”

The judge will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa. Possibly because of her critical role, Masipa has given away little of her thinking during the trial, interjecting only occasionally during testimony and keeping an impassive expression.

In the cross-examination, Nel asserted that Pistorius will not “accept responsibility for anything.” He reacted incredulously to the athlete’s explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant. The incident, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason, happened weeks before Steenkamp died.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. But a police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock could not be fired without pulling the trigger.

“We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun?” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp. He said they belonged to his estranged father, who had put the bullets in the safe. Nel retorted that Pistorius’ father, Henke, had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

At another point, Nel said caustically: “It’s the strangest day today. You just don’t take responsibility for anything.”

Two contrasting images of Pistorius have emerged in court: the defense-led portrayal of a contrite man worried about crime who made a tragic mistake, and the prosecution’s depiction of an overbearing egotist obsessed with firearms who killed his girlfriend on purpose after a heated argument.

Pistorius, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder, said he did not intentionally fire the four shots that penetrated the toilet door. Steenkamp was struck in the head, hip and arm.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said when Nel asked whether he intended to shoot.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to her family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle.”

“Your life is just about you,” Nel told Pistorius. He said the athlete was not “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of a murder trial broadcast live around the world.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he believed they were not ready to meet with him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel also pressed Pistorius about Steenkamp’s objection to his playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense and caustically noted, “We can’t ask her.”

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor hammered at Oscar Pistorius’ credibility at his murder trial Thursday, asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder.

In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

In the final hour of the day’s proceedings, Nel said Pistorius was trying to imply that police had tampered with the scene, moving evidence around, and that Steenkamp fled from the bedroom after an argument with the athlete.

“The deceased ran screaming from there,” the prosecutor said. Pistorius’ version of events, he said, does not match physical evidence at the scene – Pistorius’ home – and was not “reasonably possible.”

Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms and killed her intentionally.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor hammered at Oscar Pistorius’ credibility at his murder trial Thursday, asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder.

In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

In the final hour of the day’s proceedings, Nel said Pistorius was trying to imply that police had tampered with the scene, moving evidence around, and that Steenkamp fled from the bedroom after an argument with the athlete.

“The deceased ran screaming from there,” the prosecutor said. Pistorius’ version of events, he said, does not match physical evidence at the scene – Pistorius’ home – and was not “reasonably possible.”

Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms and killed her intentionally.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor hammered at Oscar Pistorius’ credibility at his murder trial Thursday, asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder.

In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

In the final hour of the day’s proceedings, Nel said Pistorius was trying to imply that police had tampered with the scene, moving evidence around, and that Steenkamp fled from the bedroom after an argument with the athlete.

“The deceased ran screaming from there,” the prosecutor said. Pistorius’ version of events, he said, does not match physical evidence at the scene – Pistorius’ home – and was not “reasonably possible.”

Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms and killed her intentionally.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor hammered at Oscar Pistorius’ credibility at his murder trial Thursday, asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder.

In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms and killed her intentionally.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor hammered at Oscar Pistorius’ credibility at his murder trial Thursday, asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder.

In casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.

Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.

Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms and killed her intentionally.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius’ credibility was consistently questioned at his murder trial Thursday as the chief prosecutor argued that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder for the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, in cross-examining Pistorius for a second day, questioned Pistorius’ honesty, which goes to the heart of the case, asserting that the double-amputee Olympian wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling fired under a table in a packed restaurant.

Pistorius said the gun, a Glock pistol, went off while he was holding it but insisted it happened without him pulling the trigger. The incident happened just weeks before model Reeva Steenkamp was shot to death by Pistorius on Feb. 14, 2013.A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the gun couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.

Nel said: “We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. “You are lying.”

“I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, “but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”

Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of a fourth charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for rounds of .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after the Feb. 14, 2013 death of Steenkamp. He said he was safekeeping the ammunition for his father.

But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke “refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.

“You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.

By attacking Pistorius’ credibility on the other three charges, Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius, a celebrated disabled athlete, is also lying about killing his girlfriend by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Pistorius insisted again Thursday, the second day of his cross-examination by Nel – that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.

“I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said.

Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t “humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.

“That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellphone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense, but “we can’t ask her.”

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.

On the relationship, Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp’s text messages on her phone and the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa.

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Thursday accused the Olympic athlete of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Reeva Steenkamp before he killed her, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives.

“Your life is just about you,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on a second day of cross-examination of Pistorius, who fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet cubicle of his home in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder. The prosecution says he intentionally killed her after an argument.

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellular telephone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense.

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Nel’s tough questioning was designed to counter earlier testimony in which Pistorius said he loved Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and was trying to protect her when he shot her without realizing, according to his account, that she was in the toilet cubicle.

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.

Nel referred to a shooting incident at Tashas restaurant in Johannesburg in which a shot went off after a friend of the runner passed him a loaded gun under the table. Pistorius, who faces a separate charge of firing a gun in a public place because of that episode as well as two other firearms charges, said he didn’t have his finger on the trigger when the gun fired. This happened about a month before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

The prosecutor noted that a police expert had testified that the gun could not be fired without pulling the trigger, and sarcastically described the discharge as a “miracle.”

“We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun,” Nel said incredulously of the athlete’s account.

Small arms and ammunition expert J.C. de Klerk told The Associated Press that it was not possible for the gun, a Glock 27 .40-caliber pistol, to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Nel also grilled Pistorius on another of the charges against him, that the athlete had rounds of .38-caliber ammunition in a safe at his home and had no proper licensing for it. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the charge and said it was his father’s and not his.

Nel said Pistorius’ father, Henke, had “refused” to make a statement to police regarding if the ammunition belonged to him.

Nel said of Pistorius: “You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything.”

On the relationship between Pistorius and Steenkamp, Nel said he had checked all of her text messages on her cellular telephone and that the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on a premeditated murder charge.

Nel also accused Pistorius of ignoring the concerns of Steenkamp’s family by apologizing to them at the beginning of his testimony this week, rather than seeking to express his condolences in private. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Why would you create a spectacle in court, in the public domain, in the public eye,” Nel said. “Why did you put them through this?”

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Thursday accused the Olympic athlete of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Reeva Steenkamp before he killed her, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives.

“Your life is just about you,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on a second day of cross-examination of Pistorius, who fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet cubicle of his home in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder. The prosecution says he intentionally killed her after an argument.

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellular telephone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense.

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Nel’s tough questioning was designed to counter earlier testimony in which Pistorius said he loved Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and was trying to protect her when he shot her without realizing, according to his account, that she was in the toilet cubicle.

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.

Nel referred to a shooting incident at Tashas restaurant in Johannesburg in which a shot went off after a friend of the runner passed him a loaded gun under the table. Pistorius, who faces a separate charge of firing a gun in a public place because of that episode as well as two other firearms charges, said he didn’t have his finger on the trigger when the gun fired. This happened about a month before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

The prosecutor noted that a police expert had testified that the gun could not be fired without pulling the trigger, and sarcastically described the discharge as a “miracle.”

“We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun,” Nel said incredulously of the athlete’s account.

Small arms and ammunition expert J.C. de Klerk told The Associated Press that it was not possible for the gun, a Glock 27 .40-caliber pistol, to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Nel also grilled Pistorius on another of the charges against him, that the athlete had rounds of .38-caliber ammunition in a safe at his home and had no proper licensing for it. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the charge and said it was his father’s and not his.

Nel said Pistorius’ father, Henke, had “refused” to make a statement to police regarding if the ammunition belonged to him.

Nel said of Pistorius: “You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything.”

On the relationship between Pistorius and Steenkamp, Nel said he had checked all of her text messages on her cellular telephone and that the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on a premeditated murder charge.

Nel also accused Pistorius of ignoring the concerns of Steenkamp’s family by apologizing to them at the beginning of his testimony this week, rather than seeking to express his condolences in private. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Why would you create a spectacle in court, in the public domain, in the public eye,” Nel said. “Why did you put them through this?”

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Thursday accused the Olympic athlete of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Reeva Steenkamp before he killed her, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives.

“Your life is just about you,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on a second day of cross-examination of Pistorius, who fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet cubicle of his home in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder. The prosecution says he intentionally killed her after an argument.

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred the song in a cellular telephone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense.

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Nel’s tough questioning was designed to counter earlier testimony in which Pistorius said he loved Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and was trying to protect her when he shot her without realizing, according to his account, that she was in the toilet cubicle.

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.

Nel referred to a shooting incident at Tashas restaurant in Johannesburg in which a shot went off after a friend of the runner passed him a loaded gun under the table. Pistorius, who faces a separate charge of firing a gun in a public place because of that episode as well as two other firearms charges, said he didn’t have his finger on the trigger when the gun fired. This happened about a month before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

The prosecutor noted that a police expert had testified that the gun could not be fired without pulling the trigger, and sarcastically described the discharge as a “miracle.”

“We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun,” Nel said incredulously of the athlete’s account.

Small arms and ammunition expert J.C. de Klerk told The Associated Press that it was not possible for the gun, a Glock 27 .40-caliber pistol, to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Nel also grilled Pistorius on another of the charges against him, that the athlete had rounds of .38-caliber ammunition in a safe at his home and had no proper licensing for it. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the charge and said it was his father’s and not his.

Nel said Pistorius’ father, Henke, had “refused” to make a statement to police regarding if the ammunition belonged to him.

Nel said of Pistorius: “You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything.”

On the relationship between Pistorius and Steenkamp, Nel said he had checked all of her text messages on her cellular telephone and that the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on a premeditated murder charge.

Nel also accused Pistorius of ignoring the concerns of Steenkamp’s family by apologizing to them at the beginning of his testimony this week, rather than seeking to express his condolences in private. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Why would you create a spectacle in court, in the public domain, in the public eye,” Nel said. “Why did you put them through this?”

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”

Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Thursday accused the Olympic athlete of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Reeva Steenkamp before he killed her, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family as an insincere “spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives.

“Your life is just about you,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on a second day of cross-examination of Pistorius, who fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet cubicle of his home in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder. The prosecution says he intentionally killed her after an argument.

Nel asserted that Pistorius was sometimes mean to Steenkamp, pressing him about her objection to him playing a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar on a car stereo. Pistorius referred to the song in a cellular telephone message to Steenkamp that acknowledged her objections and has been included as evidence in the trial.

The prosecutor asked if the name of the song was “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but Pistorius said he couldn’t remember the specific song. Nel responded that Steenkamp would have been right to take offense.

A phone message from Steenkamp to Pistorius that was shown in court includes the line: “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

Nel’s tough questioning was designed to counter earlier testimony in which Pistorius said he loved Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and was trying to protect her when he shot her without realizing, according to his account, that she was in the toilet cubicle.

Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution’s depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.

Nel referred to a shooting incident at Tashas restaurant in Johannesburg in which a shot went off after a friend of the runner passed him a loaded gun under the table. Pistorius, who faces a separate charge of firing a gun in a public place because of that episode as well as two other firearms charges, said he didn’t have his finger on the trigger when the gun fired. This happened about a month before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

The prosecutor noted that a police expert had testified that the gun could not be fired without pulling the trigger, and sarcastically described the discharge as a “miracle.”

“We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun,” Nel said incredulously of the athlete’s account.

Turning to the relationship between Pistorious and Steenkamp, Nel said he had checked all of her text messages on her cellular telephone and that the phrase “I love you” appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.

“Never to you and you never to her,” Nel said, addressing Pistorius.

“I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her,” Pistorius said in a soft voice. He did not look at Nel while replying to the prosecutor’s questions, instead directing his gaze to Judge Thokozile Masipa on the dais.

Masipa will deliver a verdict because there is no jury system in South Africa. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on a premeditated murder charge.

Nel also accused Pistorius of ignoring the concerns of Steenkamp’s family by apologizing to them at the beginning of his testimony this week, rather than seeking to express his condolences in private. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.

“Why would you create a spectacle in court, in the public domain, in the public eye,” Nel said. “Why did you put them through this?”

Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.”