Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2014 Contents A72
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 4, 2014
PRETORIA---Oscar Pistorius armed himself and
took other methodical steps before he killed his girl-
friend, the chief prosecutor said yesterday, trying to
cast doubt on the athlete s account that he reacted
instinctively to a perceived intruder.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel made the argument while
cross-examining sports physician Wayne Derman,
who testified that the Paralympian acted on a "fight
or flight" impulse in which he chose to confront what
he thought was an attacker because his disability pre-
vented him from fleeing. Derman has treated Pistorius
Pistorius, 27, says he killed Steenkamp by mistake,
thinking there was a dangerous intruder in his home.
He shot her through a closed toilet door while on his
stumps. The prosecution says he intentionally killed
the 29-year-old model after the couple had a Valentine s
Day argument last year.
Under questioning from defense lawyer Kenneth
Oldwadge, Derman drew a contrast between Pistorius
past triumphs as a sprinter crossing the finish line
with raised arms with the daily, severe limitations that
he endured because of his disability.
"You ve got a paradox of an individual who is
supremely able, and you ve got an individual who is
significantly disabled," said Derman, who has worked
with South African Olympic and Paralympic teams.
He noted that Pistorius anxieties included concern
"He has a specific fear of being trapped somewhere
without being able to move very rapidly," said Derman,
a professor of sport and exercise medicine at the Uni-
versity of Cape Town.
Derman said Pistorius has an extremely anxious
nature, a condition that partly stems from the ampu-
tation of his lower legs when he was 11 months old.
Pistorius was born without fibulas, the slender bones
that run from below the knee to the ankle.
The defense wants to show that the athlete had a
deep sense of vulnerability because of his disability
and a long held fear of crime, and it was a factor in
what he has described as a mistaken shooting.
During cross-examination, Nel said Derman was
giving "character evidence" rather than "expert evi-
dence" and questioned whether the witness was
capable of giving testimony that would work against
He suggested Pistorius acted methodically on the
night he killed Steenkamp because he had to locate
his gun, which was not where he normally kept it,
then take the weapon out of its holster and then move
down a passage from the bedroom to the bathroom
while scanning for the perceived threat.
Pistorius, who is free on bail, faces 25 years to life
in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder, but
he could also be sentenced to a shorter prison term
if convicted of murder without premeditation or neg-
ligent killing. Additionally, he faces separate gun-
LEEDS---Defending champion Chris Froome says
he s feeling the pressure on the eve of the Tour de
Ahead of Saturday s race start, the Kenyan-born
Briton says his main rivals "have upped their game"
and two-time Tour champ Alberto Contador is looking
more competitive than a year ago.
Froome said yesterday that among the pressures
is simply that "life definitely changes after winning
On the upside, the soft-spoken Froome says the
start on "home soil" in northern England has brought
huge crowds emanating "warm, positive energy."
He believes his nine-man Team Sky roster is the
squad s strongest ever at the Tour, and they re ready.
"I definitely won t say I m going to win," Froome
says, "but I will say that I m going to give it my
absolute everything." (AP)
During one adjournment, Nel and Derman, the
physician, smiled at each other while bantering briefly
from their seats a few yards apart. But the exchanges
that followed sometimes became testy as the prosecutor
suggested the witness was biased toward Pistorius.
Derman said Nel was unfair in his questioning.
"You re thinking of the point I m trying to make,
and you re not listening to the question," Nel said at
one point. On another occasion, Derman said: "You
put a statement. I m not responding to a statement."
The trial was adjourned until Monday. (AP)
Pistorius acted methodically
Froome senses pressures
as Tour repeat bid looms
The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, Gerrie Nel, questions
Wayne Derman, a sports physician, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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