Roux: Cold facts do not prove murder

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius's defence lawyer said on Friday the “cold facts” did not prove the star sprinter had intended to kill his model girlfriend, as he launched a final bid to save the "Blade Runner" from life in prison.

In his closing argument, fiery defence lawyer Barry Roux sought to pick apart the prosecution's case that his famous client had deliberately murdered 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp after an argument in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

Roux accused the state of ignoring evidence from Pistorius's upmarket Pretoria home that did not support its "circumstantial" case, a day after the prosecution painted the athlete as a liar.

"The failure of the state to present that evidence leaves one big question mark," said Roux, "that's the failure of the State's case."

He argued that evidence suggested Pistorius should never have faced murder charges, but rather the trial should have begun with a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

On Thursday Pistorius, a Paralympian known as the "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, was branded a "deceitful" witness by prosecutor Gerrie Nel in his final arguments.

Pistorius's efforts to concoct an alibi had led to a "snowball effect" of lies requiring more lies to back them up, Nel said.

The athlete says he killed Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home on the night of Valentine's Day last year.

The prosecution argues that he deliberately killed her after an argument.

"In an attempt to tailor his version to support his plea explanation, he tangled himself in a web," said Nel.

Misleading statements

Summing up the State's meticulous 200-page review of evidence gleaned from almost 40 witnesses, Nel said Pistorius, 27, was guilty of "a baker's dozen" of misleading statements.

Nel addressed the court for most of the day on Thursday before the defence had a brief opportunity to outline the counter-arguments it will present on Friday.

Roux has indicated that he will focus on the timeline of events the night of the shooting, from disputed sounds of gunshots and equally disputed sounds of screams heard by neighbours.

Pistorius, a double-amputee who rose to international fame when he competed alongside able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics, has at times sat weeping and vomiting in the dock as grisly details of Steenkamp's death were presented.

Once a poster boy for disabled sport, he has been stripped of lucrative endorsement deals by global brands and has withdrawn from all competition.

He faces 25 years in jail if he is convicted of premeditated murder. He also faces three separate gun-related charges.

Even if he is not found guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius could still be convicted and jailed on alternative charges of culpable homicide.

Lauren Adams 2014-08-08 12:29:11 PM
Argh! sit down Barry!
Beverley Bradbury 2014-08-08 12:30:38 PM
So tired of listening to this, gone on far too long, time to put an end to it!!
Shelle Malan 2014-08-08 12:39:01 PM
Surely Rambling Roux has lot the plot...is he indirectly begging Judge Masipa to breach any and all forms of Law and Order in our Nation for his client...in effect, to ignore the FACTS and simply turn a blind eye to MURDER ??
Motshandi Mochandi607 2014-08-08 12:39:58 PM
Barry Roux is trying too hard to such an extent that he is now also assisting the state. His approach is not focused.
CD Van Der Hoven 2014-08-08 12:45:21 PM
Fact: OP SHOT AND KILLED RS. Why do Roux get stuck at the amount of shot fired and the exact time. Bla bla bla. The time on my watch differ from the time on the person sitting next to me now. So stop whining about that. Question:Did OP shoot? Answer: yes Question: Is RS dead Answer: yes. Question: Is OP lying to cover the truth? ??? Proof this and the case is concluded. Roux must stop whining. Cold facts is going to put the murderer away.
Motshandi Mochandi607 2014-08-08 12:51:45 PM
I think the judge must be annoyed with Barry Roux voice by now.
Louise-Roger Higham 2014-08-08 01:03:08 PM
Of course it does u chop
Laurette Janse Van Rensburg 2014-08-08 04:16:27 PM
Ag he will get 10 years and be off in 5 years after spending the 5 years in a special prison to facilitate the disability he has. In those 5 years he will spend most of the time with a ghost writer, writing a book and when he gets out and releases that book...well then all the fame and fortune will come back! It's bound to be so.
Coda 2014-08-09 10:32:42 AM
Well I think they do....
Deon Jacobs 2014-08-09 03:46:13 PM
Barry Roux is an excellent defense advocate, but even he was not able to pull a miracle out of the hat. He was up against it from the very start. The facts of the case speak for itself.