Oscar’s neighbours steadfast - Nel

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Copy of 04343988 EPA Oscar Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria, where State prosecutor Gerrie Nel is delivering his closing argument. Picture: Werner Beukes

Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria broke for a short lunch adjournment, with State prosecutor Gerrie Nel dealing with the testimony of Oscar Pistorius’s neighbours.

He argued that there was no indication that the neighbours who testified for the State had ever met or compared notes, meaning they were independent witnesses who heard such similar sounds coming from Pistorius's home on the night of the shooting.

The defence had told them at the time that it had scientific evidence to dispute their testimony that they heard Pistorius screaming, but they remained steadfast, Nel said.

He added that the defence had never brought their scientific tests and put them to these witnesses.

Earlier, Nel questioned the idea that police would tamper with the scene, as they had no way of knowing Pistorius's defence at the time of the investigation.

“The conspiracy is just too complicated and impossible,” said Nel.

He then said that among the couples who testified during the trial, they all had woken up their partners upon hearing noises coming from the athlete's home.

Nel said this was extremely strange that Pistorius chose not to wake up Steenkamp after hearing a noise in his own home. This contradicted his previous behaviour with his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, who he had woken up in a similar situation.

Nel then moved on to how Pistorius's phone was found downstairs on a charger, which he said meant Pistorius had at some point gone downstairs after the shooting before carrying Steenkamp's bleeding body downstairs. He said that upon taking her downstairs, a neighbour, Carice Viljoen had already walked into the house and never saw Pistorius placing the phone on the charger.

He also said Pistorius was unable to explain when he had turned off the alarm, and that it most likely was never turned on because the couple were still awake having an argument.

Nel then argued that Pistorius went to confront the “robbers” inside his home with gun in hand, and even if his argument is accepted by the court, he still intended to shoot a person.

He also said Pistorius's version that he heard the bathroom window open was unbelievable because Steenkamp would have no reason to open it before going inside the toilet cubicle.

Nel insisted that Pistorius was guilty of murder for firing at an intruder because he knew the consequences of firing his weapon.

He added that it would have been easier for the defence to argue automatism if Pistorius had emptied his gun, but instead he only fired the four aimed shots. Nel said that even if the court finds Pistorius's version reasonably true, he still can not escape a conviction of culpable homicide.

He said that even if Pistorius had thought an intruder was behind the door, for a focused, goal-oriented person like the athlete, it makes no sense that he would lose control in just this moment while maintaining it while walking towards and into the bathroom.

He said that Steenkamp's position in the toilet cubicle also indicated that she was not hiding in the bathroom from an intruder, but most likely still speaking - or arguing - with the athlete prior to the shots being fired.

Nel also said Pistorius did not exhibit normal human behaviour because on the athlete's version, he only screamed before seeing Steenkamp's body, and stopped immediately after breaking through the bathroom door.

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