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Oscar Pistorius trial resumes today as ballistics expert cross-examined

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Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers today start what they said may be last week of their bid to undermine the prosecution’s case that the Paralympic gold medalist murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after an argument.

Since prosecutor Gerrie Nel described Pistorius’s testimony last month as “untruthful” and “improbable,” defence attorney Barry Roux has called witnesses who cast doubt on the state’s version of the shooting and portrayed the athlete as emotionally distraught after he shot Steenkamp three times in the bathroom of his house in Pretoria.

Double-amputee Pistorius (27), has pleaded not guilty to murder and said he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

Nel has portrayed him as a short-tempered gun-lover who shot Steenkamp in a fit of anger.

Pistorius has also pleaded not guilty to three separate gun-related charges.

Before the trial adjourned on May 9th, Nel tore into defence witness Tom “Wollie” Wolmarans, who compiled a report on how the athlete shot the model on Valentine’s Day last year.

Under cross-examination, he said he may have changed his assessment of the incident after speaking to an expert previously called to testify by Pistorius’s lawyers.

Nel also cast doubt on Wolmarans’s choice of materials when he replicated the crime scene, saying his use of paper rather than board would have given a better indication of splintering on human skin.

“Another expert may come and have a different opinion,” Wolmarans told the high court in Pretoria.

“You can come to a certain conclusion, but it’s all speculation as to what happened behind that door.”

Roux said he expects to conclude his case this week.

The trial, which started on March 3rd, is being broadcast live on radio and TV. Judge Thokozile Masipa, who will give the final judgment in the case because South Africa does not have a jury system, could consider a lesser charge of culpable homicide if she rules that the act was not intentional.

Pistorius would face a minimum of 25 years in jail if convicted of murder. Bloomberg

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