Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2014 Contents A57
Friday, August 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PRETORIA, South Africa---The chief
prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius murder
trial said yesterday in closing arguments
that the athlete repeatedly lied during
testimony in a crude attempt to defend
himself against a murder charge for
killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel cited flaws in
the defence, saying the Olympian s legal
team floated more than one theory about
what happened on the night that Pis-
torius shot Steenkamp through a closed
toilet door in his home. Defence lawyers
had argued that Pistorius fired in self-
defence, fearing an intruder, Nel said,
but they also raised the possibility that
he was not criminally responsible and
accidentally shot because he was "star-
"It s two defences that you can never
reconcile," Nel said as Pistorius sat behind
him in the dock, occasionally flicking
through documents. The once-celebrated
double-amputee athlete appeared calm,
in contrast to some past occasions during
which he retched and wailed in apparent
The prosecution has argued that Pis-
torius intentionally shot Steenkamp
before dawn on February 14, 2013 after
a quarrel, and argued he knew she was
in the bathroom.
Nel ended his closing argument by
saying Pistorius was guilty of premed-
itated murder because he then "made
up his mind" to find his gun, walk
through to the bathroom and shoot.
"That, my lady, is pre-planning," Nel
said to the judge.
Yet Nel said Pistorius should still be
convicted of murder even if the court
accepts he did not know it was
Steenkamp in the toilet cubicle, arguing
the athlete intentionally shot at and killed
a person with no reason to believe his
life was under threat.
Barry Roux, the chief defence lawyer,
listened and checked files as Nel spoke
for hours. Nel was occasionally ques-
tioned by Judge Thokozile Masipa and
urged to speed up elaborations on written
arguments of more than 100 pages that
were submitted to the court last week.
Roux began his final arguments before
Masipa postponed proceedings until Fri-
day for the defence to finish. Masipa will
then adjourn the trial to deliberate with
two legal assistants on a verdict, with
Pistorius facing 25 years to life in prison
if convicted on the main charge of pre-
Roux noted that some of the evidence
at the scene, which Nel referred to, had
been moved around by investigators.
"We re not talking about a conspiracy,"
Roux said, calling it unintentional tam-
pering. Roux also noted that Hilton
Botha, the former chief investigating
officer in the case, had acknowledged
mistakes in police procedure but was
not called by the state as a trial witness.
According to Nel, Pistorius was vague
in allegations that police had possibly
tampered with evidence around the scene
of the shooting, including fans and a
bedcover strewn on the floor of his bed-
room. It was also improbable that the
athlete, in his version, rushed with his
gun to investigate a purported sound in
the bathroom without first trying to talk
to Steenkamp and confirm that she was
safe, the prosecutor said.
The prosecution said Pistorius also
"used well-calculated and rehearsed
emotional outbursts to deflect the atten-
tion and avoid having to answer ques-
A psychologist who examined Pistorius
during a court-ordered observation peri-
od concluded that the athlete had
become severely traumatised since the
killing and could become an increasing
suicide risk unless he continues to get
mental health care.
The fathers of the Olympic runner
and Steenkamp, a model and television
personality, were in the Pretoria court-
room for the first time since the trial
began in early March. They sat at oppo-
site ends of a long bench in the gallery.
Pistorius is said to be estranged from his
father, Henke, and Steenkamp s father,
Barry, has been ill.
Because South Africa has no trial by
jury, Judge Masipa will decide if Pis-
torius committed murder, is guilty of
a negligent killing, or if he made a tragic
error and should be acquitted. The run-
ner also would be sent to prison for
years if guilty of murder without pre-
meditation or culpable homicide.
Masipa told Nel and Roux that they
had only until the end of Friday to com-
plete their final arguments in court.
LOUISVILLE, Ky---Maybe Tiger
Woods should have stayed at
Looking much like a guy who
could barely bend over last week-
end, Woods sprayed shots all over
Valhalla and faced a daunting
deficit at the PGA Championship
before heavy favorite Rory McIlroy
even teed off yesterday. "That was-
n t very good," said Woods, who
made only one birdie --- and had
to hole out from the fairway to do
that --- on the way to a 3-over 74.
"A lot of bad shots."
One landed in a creek. Another
sent the gallery scrambling. Yet
another rolled into a fenced-off
area where fans can use cellphones,
a good 30 yards right of the fair-
way. Too bad Woods couldn t call
"I didn t play as well as I wanted
to. I didn t get a putt to the hole,"
he said. "That s not a good
Lee Westwood, shooting his
best score ever at the PGA Cham-
pionship, and little-known Kevin
Chappell both posted 65s to leave
Woods nine shots off the lead. Jim
Furyk was one stroke back after
shooting 66. Woods main objec-
tive Friday will be making the cut,
though he insisted he still has a
chance to capture his 15th major
"I just don t see, on this golf
course, guys going super low here,"
he said, apparently not having seen
the scoreboard. "I ve got to get to
under par by the end of tomorrow.
... If I can get under par for two
rounds, that s going to be right in
McIlroy, coming off wins at the
British Open and at Firestone, teed
off shortly after Woods finished
up. Woods didn t arrive at Valhalla
until Wednesday, having been in
Florida undergoing treatment for
a back injury that forced him to
withdraw at Firestone on Sunday.
He struggled to pick up his tee or
change his shoes, but insisted that
"It s a little bit stiff," he said of
his back, "but that s about it."
Still, Woods was playing just
his 11th competitive round since
undergoing back surgery March
31. The rustiness showed as he
grappled with his swing and never
figured out the speed of the greens.
Woods had to sit out the first
two majors of the year and posted
his worst 72-hole finish in a major
at the British Open.
Looks like more of the same at
the PGA. "My swing was dialed
in on the range," Woods said.
"Unfortunately, I just didn t carry
it to the golf course."
Westwood carried over the
momentum from a closing 63 at
Firestone, his best round of the
year. The 41-year-old Englishman
made nine birdies---helping offset
a double-bogey---and eclipsed his
best round in 17 PGA appearances,
a 66 on the first day at Oak Hill
in 2013. "The golf course was all
there in front of me. I just play it
as I see it," said Westwood, who s
had numerous close calls but never
won a major championship. "Last
week, I felt like I turned a corner."
Chappell, a 28-year-old Cali-
fornian in his fourth year on the
PGA Tour, turned in a bogey-free
round. The final major of the year
has produced some unlikely cham-
Micheel?---and Chappell hopes to
be the latest.
"I can t complain about being
in the lead of any golf tournament,"
said Chappell, whose only profes-
sional win came on the Web.com
Tour in 2010. "I just look forward
to keeping it rolling."
Furyk is off to another strong
start in a tournament he nearly
won in 2013. He took a lead to the
final day at Oak Hill, only to lose
to Jason Dufner by two strokes.
Phil Mickelson, mired in his
longest winless streak since 2003,
was paired with Woods for one of
the rare times at a major. Lefty
was 1 over midway through his
round, struggling just like his play-
ing partner, but fought back on
the second nine for a 69.
Woods needs a similar
Starting on the back side, he
bogeyed both of the par-3s after
missing the green, though he did
salvage an unlikely birdie at the
16th by holing out a wedge from
more than 100 feet away.
Woods missed a chance to make
up more ground at the easy 18th,
knocking his drive into a fairway
bunker at the par-5 hole, and
things really took a turn for the
worse after the turn.
He just couldn t find any accu-
racy off the tee. Woods drove into
ankle-deep grass marked as a haz-
ard, leading to a bogey. Then came
another poor drive at the second,
the ball settling in a creek left of
the fairway, leading to a one-stroke
penalty and another bogey. "Oh,
for ... sake, Tiger!" he yelled at
himself after the tee shot, mut-
tering an obscenity.
to 74; Westwood,
Chappell lead PGA
Pistorius lied on stand
Oscar Pistorius, centre, leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday. The
chief prosecutor said Thursday the double-amputee athlete's lawyers have floated
more than one theory in a dishonest attempt to defend against a murder charge for
his killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. AP PHOTO
Tiger Woods hits
from the fairway on
the 15th hole during
the first round of the
golf tournament at
Valhalla Golf Club
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