2 minute read
11 Apr 2014
11:53 am

Nel reprimanded for calling Oscar liar

Judge Thokozile Masipa reprimanded prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Friday after he called murder-accused Oscar Pistorius a liar.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel is seen cross-examining paralympian Oscar Pistorius at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on Friday, 11 April 2014. Picture: Craig Nieuwenhuizen/Media24/Pool

“Watch your language, Mr Nel. You don’t call the witness a liar, not while he is in the witness box,” she said.

Pistorius was in the witness stand for the fifth day. Nel was cross-examining the athlete on where certain items were in his bedroom.

Pistorius said he picked up a pair of jeans belonging to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to cover a LCD light when he heard the bathroom window open and was convinced it was an intruder.

Nel said he was keeping a list of the things Pistorius said were later moved. The list included the police opening the bedroom curtains wider, moving the fans, switching the lights on, putting the duvet on the floor and ensuring the denim was on the duvet.

Pistorius earlier said the duvet was on the bed and he had the jeans in his hands and dropped it so the jeans could not be on the duvet.

Nel said: “If that is your version of how it was on the day, you are lying. No one knew you did something with the jeans. Why move it.”

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, objected and said one could not in fact state that the jeans were on the duvet. There were more photos of when the jeans were moved.

“It’s unfair to make a point to the accused to say it was on top… There is no evidence that it was not on top except for the photo,” said Roux.

Masipa said she was doubtful and asked for the photo to be zoomed in.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp. She was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.