By LIEZL THOM
PRETORIA, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius’ legal team filed written final arguments in his murder trial today, setting the stage for one last showdown between his lawyers and the prosecutor later this week.
Prosecutors filed their written arguments last week, arguing that the parlympian sprinter known as the Blade Runner shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Valentine’s Day last year following a loud argument.
Pistorius, 27, has insisted that he fired four times through a closed bathroom door in the overnight incident believing that an intruder was in his house and that he had not meant to kill Steenkamp.
On Thursday, prosecutor Gerrie “the Bull Terrier” Nel will deliver his arguments verbally, while defense lawyer Barry Roux will make his final submissions to Judge Thokozile Masipa and her two assessors on Friday.
The court has prohibited the publication of either side’s arguments before they are delivered at the end of this week, but Nel has already indicated he will argue that Pistorius adjusted his aim after the second bullet missed when he heard a magazine rack move inside the toilet cubicle.
Defense witness Roger Dixon disputed the police ballistics expert’s version of the sequence of shots and Steenkamp’s position when she was first hit, but admitted under cross examination that he is neither a ballistics nor a blood spatter expert.
Pistorius faces weapons charges along with a murder charge. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
The judge is expected to indicate on Friday when she will hand down her judgment.