TIME South Africa

Prosecutor to Pistorius: You’re Lying

Marco Longari—Pool/Reuters State prosecutor Gerrie Nel gestures as he cross examines Oscar Pistorius during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, April 10, 2014

The former paralympian, accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, breaks down and cries on the stand during a cross-examination by famously aggressive prosecutor Gerrie Nel, claiming he couldn't remember details because he was tired

Prosecutors in the murder trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius branded him as a liar Friday, as the tense cross-examination of the athlete continued for a third day.

Gerrie Nel, the South African state prosecutor known as “the bulldog” because of his aggressive style, tried to portray Pistorius’ explanation of events as implausible. He also mocked the Olympic sprinter for failing to remember details or correct himself during the testimony. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by shooting her through his bathroom door. He says he mistook her for a burglar.

“You’re getting deeper into trouble,” Nel said, questioning details about the alarm system in the house, the placement of fans and clothes in the bedroom and raising occasions on which Pistorius had allegedly behaved aggressively toward Steenkamp.

He also questioned how Pistorius could have failed to notice that his girlfriend wasn’t beside him in the bed when he woke or that she didn’t reply when he told her to call the police.

At one point Pistorius broke down crying, saying he couldn’t remember the details because he was tired.

“I’m not convinced. I think that you’re trying to cover up a lie,” the prosecutor said.

‘The judge stepped in and asked Gerrie Nel to “mind his language.”

“You don’t call a witness a liar while he’s in the box,” Judge Masipa said.

The trial will continue until mid-May. Pistorius faces 25 years in prison if he is found guilty.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team