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Prosecutor Nel says Oscar Pistorius cannot escape murder conviction

Pretoria: A South African prosecutor branded Oscar Pistorius "deceitful" and insisted the paralympian cannot avoid a conviction for murdering his glamorous model girlfriend, as the state closed its case against him yesterday.

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius and prosecutor Gerrie Nel (right) during the presentation of final arguments of the paralympian's murder trial at the Pretoria High Court yesterday. Pics/AFP
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius and prosecutor Gerrie Nel (right) during the presentation of final arguments of the paralympian's murder trial at the Pretoria High Court yesterday. Pics/AFP 

"Pitbull" prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that even if the court accepts Pistorius' claim he killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year believing she was an intruder, "he cannot escape" a conviction for murdering with intent.

Ending the first of two days of concluding arguments in the gripping five-month murder trial, Nel said Pistorius' efforts to concoct an alibi had led to a "snowball effect" of lies requiring more lies to back them up.

"In an attempt to tailor his version to support his plea explanation, he tangled himself in a web," said Nel.

Summing up the state's 200-page review of evidence from almost 40 witnesses, Nel said Pistorius (27) was guilty of "a baker's dozen" of misleading statements.

Nel also pointed to state experts' testimony that Steenkamp had food in her stomach when she died and that neighbours heard a woman screaming to show Pistorius was lying.

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