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Pistorius trial – key points from day 41

The defence delivered its final arguments contesting state witness evidence that Oscar Pistorius purposefully shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and Judge Thokozile Masipa set the date for the verdict in the 41st and final day of the murder trial.

– Defence lawyer Barry Roux argued Pistorius acted as a reasonable man would when he shot Steenkamp in the belief she was an intruder.

“If your finding is that he’s reasonable, you must acquit him,” said Roux.

– Roux said Pistorius should be found guilty of discharging a firearm in public, one of three gun-related charges the star sprinter faces.

“He’s guilty my lady, guilty on the first alternative, that he negligently used that firearm,” said Roux.

– Roux compared Pistorius’s anxiety — caused by his disability — to that of an abused woman, who experiences a “slow burn” of trauma.

– Roux worked to cast doubt on key witness testimony, which included hearing a woman scream and seeing a bathroom light emanating from the Pistorius house, labelling the evidence as “all wrong”.

– Roux said the testimony from state witness and forensic pathologist Gert Saayman, who said Steenkamp had eaten hours before she was shot, was “inexact” and should not be taken into account.

– Anticipating a worse-case scenario, the defence lawyer said if Pistorius is not found to have acted reasonably the judge should find him guilty of culpable homicide, not premeditated murder.

“If he was wrong in that, look at culpable homicide and we’ll deal with that,” said Roux.

– Judge Masipa set the date for the verdict for September 11, 9:30 a.m.

“I’d like to thank the team, the state team and defence team, for their assistance in this matter,” said Masipa. “We shall be back here on the 11 of September at 9:30 am for judgement.”