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Pistorius trial – key points from day 38

The state worked to show Oscar Pistorius is not as vulnerable as he claims when on his stumps and the defence said it would soon conclude its case during the 38th day of his murder trial.

– State prosecutor Gerrie Nel attempted to discredit key defence witness Wayne Derman saying the medical expert was testifying beyond his field of specialisation when he gave evidence on the mental health of the athlete.

“If that is indeed the case my lady I would cede to my learned colleagues’ higher qualification in this particular issue,” Derman said when Nel asked him about a conflicting psychiatrist’s opinion on the athlete.

– Nel asked Derman about Pistorius’s mobility on his stumps, appearing to reference a shocking video aired by an Australian television network that features Pistorius re-enacting the night he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

“Can I just ask you then, was it ever demonstrated to you that Mr Pistorius was able to walk backwards on his stumps?” said Nel.

“It was never demonstrated to me,” said Derman.

– Nel argued that Pistorius was less vulnerable the night he shot Steenkamp because he took extensive measures to protect himself, including living in a gated community and having a gun.

“At least you will concede with a gun in hand he’s less vulnerable,” said Nel.

“He might indeed be less vulnerable but how much vulnerable I do not know,” said Derman.

– Nel accused Derman, who has known Pistorius for six years, of not being an objective witness.

“Professor I have put to you and I will do it again that you are not objective in your evidence,” said Nel.

– Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that the defence should not be able to confer with Carla Kotze, a psychiatrist appointed by the state to evaluate Pistorius’s mental health.

“I’m not even sure whether it would be in the interest of justice to allow this to happen,” said Judge Masipa.

– Pistorius defence lawyer Barry Roux asked for an adjournment to confer with his team, saying he is planning to close his case.