Oscar Pistorius was accused of “lying” in evidence to his murder trial Wednesday and rehearsing his answers as he underwent a sustained and exhaustive cross-examination by the prosecution.
In a testy exchange with state lawyer Gerrie Nel, the sprinter was repeatedly asked about discrepancies between statements to the trial and earlier statements to police and at his bail hearing.
Nel complained that the athlete was restating his defense rather than answering questions about the events on the night he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
“You're thinking of the implication of the answer,” he said. “Don’t think of the implications for you, Mr. Pistorius.”
“My life is on the line,” the Olympic runner said.
Reeva “doesn’t have a life any more,” Nel retorted. “Did your gun go off accidentally, yes or no?”
“My firearm was in my possession. I had my finger on the trigger. It was an accident what happened,” the athlete said. “I fired my firearm before I could think. When I fired my firearm I believed that someone was coming out of the toilet. It’s not just a physical accident. What I’m saying is that, at the time, I didn’t know what to think. I fired into the toilet door I believed someone was coming out.”
Nel asked: “Is the implication of your answer bothering you?”
“I didn’t intend to shoot at anyone,” Pistorius replied.