Lying in the Sun

Pistorius - the Pistol

Pistorius - the Pistol



Well, well who would have thought there would be three Pinnochio's, the original storybook character, the one who arrived on the scene almost 7 years ago, and the third and latest, in the form of Oscar Pistorius.


As in all fairytales, in the world of fantasy there is always some object of magic, be it a lantern, a flying carpet...


Pinnochio 2, had a magic key which allowed him to go in through any locked door.


So why should we be surprised to hear that :


Pinnochio 3, has a magic gun which discharges bullets without having to pull the trigger?




Jeremy Thomson Sky News

Martin Hood our legal expert based here in Pretoria has been listening all day, its been a fascinating day of legal to’ings and fro'ings  what have you made of it what have been the big points for you do you think?


Hood.

Let’s start by saying it’s been riveting what’s been going on. 


I think the highlights of the day can be divided into two broad categories, the first is the admissions that Gerri  Nel has got Pistoirus to make.  In my view he’s made Pistorius admit to the offences relating to the firearms.   He’s made him admit the shooting incident in the restaurant at Tasha’s.  He’s made him admit the possession of the ammunition.  He hasn’t expressly made him admit the offence of firing out of the sunroof but interestingly enough we have two State witnesses whose evidence is un-contradicted, and Oscar cannot put up another version, he cannot put a version…he hasn’t put up a version that could be reasonably possibly true, to discredit the State witnesses.

And then there is the question of credibility, and I think that is the critical issue here, because now what Nel has done throughout the day, he has chipped away at Oscar’s version.  Oscar has not answered the questions, he has been argumentative, and the end result is that people are sitting down, and I’m sure the Judge is sitting down as well and thinking -  can I actually believe this version because he doesn’t give a straight answer he argues, he talks, and he continues to talk when he hasn’t even been asked a question and that can be very dangerous.

Thomson.

I mean Mr Nel said a couple of times during the course of the day - you are arguing like a lawyer just stop it, answer the questions.

Hood:

Exactly, and that is so dangerous because you don’t want to volunteer information which has not been asked for.  Because, all Nel is doing is letting him talk, and in talking Oscar is volunteering more and more information that is giving Nel more and more opportunity to cross examine him on, and he is digging himself deeper and deeper into a very very difficult position.

Thomson

Mr Nel also seems to be picking away at his character he is suggesting he is an arrogant man, a man who never takes responsibility, a man who is at the centre of his own universe, he said several times its all about 'I'  Oscar Pistorius its not about Reeva or anybody else?

Hood

I think he’s not only picked away at that character but he’s created a very strong impression of that same character being the arrogant person that is not prepared to take responsibility he’s frequently said to Pistorius -Why don’t you take responsibility,  why don’t you accept that responsibility.  And Pistorius has only been prepared to do that when he’s been backed into a position where he had no alternative.

Thomson

You thought that perhaps tactically you thought maybe Mr Nel would move on a little quicker once he’d got to the point of Pistorius with the gun in hand facing that toilet.. locked toilet door he’d sort of cut to the chase

Hood

I was left with the impression at lunchtime that we were really going to cut to the chase this afternoon and that we would go directly into the actual event itself we didn’t!   In my opinion I think that maybe Gerrie Nel lost a little bit of impetus there.   I think we’ve maybe been a little bit side tracked.  I think he’s still trying to go at Oscar’s credibility and say that is not factually correct.  I don’t think he’s made that many points this afternoon.  So I think he’s just lost a little bit of ground this afternoon.

Thomson

He (Nel) was saying to Oscar Pistorius there - you’re a gun owner a gun enthusiast, why can’t you take responsibility for what you have done, basically you have been negligent and reckless  in the way you have handled guns

Hood

I think this is one of the key areas where Pistorius  lost a lot of ground today because he was put in a position where he had no alternative but to say, yes I did fire that gun, but he wouldn’t accept that. 

This particular pistol that we are dealing with, it’s a Glock (?) pistol it’s a popular type pistol, I happen to own one so I know exactly how it operates, and that type of firearm will not discharge itself unless you pull the trigger, and it’s clear to me what Oscar did, he wanted to unload the firearm but he didn’t realise there was a magazine in it.  so he unloaded a round from the chamber but at the same time, another round went into the chamber, and he squeezed the trigger thinking that it was empty and the gun discharged. 

He was put in a position by Gerrie Nel that that was the only reasonable conclusion to reach in those circumstances and yet he would still not admit that.

Thomson.

So just tell me so with a Glock like the one you own, you are saying he’s.. Pistorius suggestion in cross examination, that  'I didn’t have my finger on the trigger it just went off''  basically you cant do that as you are saying with a Glock you need to put considerable pressure on to make it go off?

Hood

Specifically with the Glock, but any pistol will not discharge unless you squeeze the trigger, and there is no evidence today that anything else but squeezing the trigger could have made that gun go off.  It wasn’t dropped it wasn’t banged or anything like that and that’s why the only reasonable conclusion that we can reach in the circumstances is that Oscar squeezed that trigger.

Thomson:

One thing,  I mean you have guns, and therefore you have been through the whole process of licence, registered and answering those questions of competency, so when it comes to a situation you feel potentially under threat, what are the rules what are the competency guide book say on guns?

Hood

Well let's bear in mind that Oscar wrote a test and he went through certain specific scenarios which embody those rules but let’s unpack those rules –

  • There has to be an attack.
  • You cannot think there is going to be an attack
  • You can’t fear there is going to be an attack.

It has to be unlawful,  in other words it has to be a criminal attack.  You must reasonably believe in the circumstances that your life is in danger or somebody else who you have to protect, and you must respond immediately and proportionately.  And unfortunately in my view Oscar doesn’t get out of the starting blocks here, because there was no evidence of an attack.  Even on his version, that he fired through a closed door.  How do you determine there is an attack that is unlawful and potentially lethal in those circumstances?

Thomson:

Tell me about the why’s and wherefor’s of going towards a potential threat even if it’s only in your mind  that you think it’s a threat or if you think that same threat in your mind, you withdraw from the threat

Hood

This is one of the unwritten rules of firearms ownership, and it’s the rule of common sense, and that is, if you can avoid a confrontation, move away from the confrontation.  If you go towards the potential confrontation, there is a very fine line between when you become the victim and you become the aggressor.  And I’m pretty sure this is what Gerrie Nel is going to argue, he is going to say- 'you put yourself in that situation, with a loaded firearm, you became the aggressor when you should have in fact walked moved away and moved out of that situation.'

Thomson

Tell us your thoughts Alex?

Alex Crawford

Huge amount of content and I would say at the end of it not a very good day at all for Oscar Pistorius.  Gerrie Nel has picked away at the tiny tiny details, like - where did you place the fan, and then as soon as he identifies where he placed the fan, he says  - well if you placed it there the extension cord wouldn’t have stretched, or the power cord wouldn’t have stretched far enough to the plug in point so how could it there.

Oscar Pistorius went on to say a number of items had been moved, the duvet had been moved, the fans had been moved, both fans had been moved he talked about lots of other things being moved.  Gerrie Nel said – are you saying that the police moved all these different items, are you suggesting there was some sort of conspiracy which  (interference in recording here)   then Crawford said – not a good day for Oscar Pistorius


(No proud father family moments today then?)

Hood

I think tomorrow we’re going to see him (Nel) a little bit more focused tomorrow and I think we’re going to see him go for the throat.

END



l-azzeri-lies-in-the-sun.com
10th April 2014

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