OSCAR Pistorius is likely to take the stand in the Pretoria High Court on Friday.
The court adjourned for two days yesterday after prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the state, which accuses Pistorius of premeditated murder, had completed its case in the fourth week of the high-profile trial.
Pistorius’s lawyer, Brian Webber, said the Paralympian sprinter was likely to take the stand at the start of the defence’s case.
“I don’t think we have a choice, it’s a question of when,” he said, although Kenny Oldwage, another defence lawyer, was more circumspect, saying, “we’ll see about that”.
The 27-year-old athlete’s defence requested the break in the proceedings to consult witnesses not called by the state.
The state has failed to find or produce any of the much-anticipated incriminating evidence on an encrypted cellphone belonging to Pistorius.
Instead, defence lawyers yesterday produced reams of pages of cute love messages, pet names and terms of endearment sent between Pistorius and his girlfriend, former Port Elizabeth model Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year.
Pistorius maintains he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. The state believes the killing was premeditated and followed a heated argument.
For months there has been speculation around the potential damning evidence allegedly contained on one of Pistorius’s two iPhones.
Last month, three senior police officials travelled to Apple’s headquarters in the United States to have one of his iPhones deciphered.
The specific cellphone was only given to the police 12 days after the shooting. The phone was encrypted and Pistorius claimed he forgot the passcode.
There was a belief the cellphone might contain deleted messages, which could potentially incriminate Pistorius.
Defence advocate Barry Roux, using the testimony of police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller, argued Pistorius and Steenkamp were in a loving relationship.
On Monday, the state used four of 1704 SMSes to show the relationship was stormy.
“After every argument there were further loving messages. They were followed with terms of endearment. Arguments were sometimes ended by phone calls. Correct?” Roux asked Moller.
Moller conceded the majority of messages were loving. “More than 90%,” retorted Roux.
“You were only looking at four. Look at these … the arguments are not long.
“They end with ‘kisses’, ‘I love yous’, ‘I miss yous’.
“They show disagreements and unhappiness solved quickly … Messages are filled with ‘baba, booboo, angel’ … they show love. Here is CCTV footage showing them kissing just 10 days before the incident … like a couple in love.”
Closing the case for the state, Nel revealed Pistorius had not reported any crimes prior to the shooting, indicating he had not been a victim of crime in South Africa – contrary to his claims.
Pistorius in his bail affidavit said he had been a victim of crime, with Roux yesterday insisting he had been a victim of “many crimes”. – Additional reporting by AFP
- For breaking updates from the courtroom, visit @oscarstrial on twitter