Oscar case revolves around ‘split second’

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iol newsp ic Oscar Roux closing arguments Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool Defence lawyer Barry Roux is seen during closing arguments in the murder trial of paralympian Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria. Picture: Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool

Pretoria - The murder trial of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistoisus all comes down to the split second before he pulled the trigger and shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

“It comes down to that split second,” Barry Roux, SC for Pistorius said.

Roux said Pistorius should be charged with culpable homicide and not murder.

He said he did not think it was wrong for Pistorius to arm himself or to try and avoid the perceived danger from coming out of the cubicle.

Roux said the court should decide what a reasonable person would do in that split second.

“You have to find one of two things, and you have to assume the noise... When he heard the noise was he negligent? Was he acting reasonable? Or would the reasonable person have acted differently?

“Let's now look at the reasonable person, with the same abilities slash disabilities,” Roux said.

He said that if the court found that for a person without legs, facing the door and hearing the sound, the actions were that of a reasonable person, the charges should be dropped.

“If this was reasonable, you must acquit him,” Roux said.

“If you find that that action was not reasonable, then it's your finding, my lady.”

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act “one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges as well.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel responded to Roux's arguments when he concluded.


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