April 11th, 2014
11:23 AM ET

Pistorius Accused of Hiding the Truth

Oscar Pistorius faced another day of relentless cross-examination Friday as the prosecution challenged his account of the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has accused the athlete of hiding the truth about the death of Steenkamp, whom he shot last year through a closed toilet door in his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

His questions again sought to undermine Pistorius' reliability and credibility and to portray the Olympic athlete as someone who was inventing his version of events and "tailoring" evidence to suit his story.

As Nel turned once again to the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013, he repeatedly challenged Pistorius over his actions in the moments leading up to Steenkamp's death.

The prosecution's argument is that Pistorius shot Steenkamp intentionally after a heated argument. Pistorius does not deny shooting her but insists that he mistook her for an intruder.

Pistorius said he thought he heard the toilet door opening before he fired.

"I didn't intend to shoot. My firearm was pointed at the door because that's where I believed that somebody was," he said. "When I heard a noise, I didn't have to think, and I fired - I fired my weapon. It was an accident."

Nel, known in South African legal circles for his bulldog-like approach to cross-examination, responded to Pistorius' testimony almost with scorn.

"Your version is so improbable that nobody would ever think that it was reasonably, possibly true," he said.

Nel then hammered Pistorius on whether he had known Steenkamp was in the toilet when he fired.

"You knew Reeva was behind the door, and you shot at her," Nel said more than once.

"That's not true," Pistorius replied in a low tone.

That dramatic moment was when Nel asked for the trial to be adjourned until Monday morning.

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