Pistorius murder trial ends, prosecutor demands 'consequences'

Fri Aug 8, 2014 11:00am EDT
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By Mfuneko Toyana

PRETORIA (Reuters) - The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius wrapped up on Friday with the prosecution making a final plea for the South African athlete to "face the consequences" of shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, only the second black woman to be appointed a high court judge in post-apartheid South Africa, will now analyze more than 4,000 pages of evidence before delivering her verdict on Sept. 11.

Double amputee Pistorius, 27, once a national icon for reaching the pinnacle of sport, is accused of murdering Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, at his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day last year.

The defense says Pistorius, nicknamed the 'Blade Runner' after his carbon-fiber prosthetic running legs, shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in self-defense, believing she was an intruder, and that therefore he should be acquitted.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has spent the trial, which began in March, portraying Pistorius as a gun-obsessed hothead who deliberately shot Steenkamp, 29, four times as she was taking refuge in the toilet after an argument.

Cutting through months of complex evidence and testimony, Nel ended proceedings by returning to his core argument.

"He knew there was a human being in the toilet. That's his evidence," Nel told the judge.

"His intention was to kill a human being. He's fired indiscriminately into that toilet. Then m'lady, he is guilty of murder. There must be consequences."   Continued...

Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (L) leaves after the closing arguments in his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko