The prosecution in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Wednesday questioned the depth of his love for Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he shot dead last year.
The defence has emphasized the loving relationship Pistorius and Steenkamp shared and their plans for a future together. Mr. Pistorius’ manager and agent, Petrus van Zyl, told the court on Tuesday that the athlete had planned to take Steenkamp on trips to a sports competition and to a concert in Italy.
But prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Mr. Pistorius had planned to take two previous girlfriends on trips as well. He also wrote passionate love letters to one of them, Samantha Taylor.
The 27-year-old double amputee Olympic sprinter has been on trial since March 3, charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp, 29.
Mr. Pistorius maintains he mistook the model for a burglar when he shot her through a bathroom door in February last year.
Mr. Nel also sought to emphasize the aggressive side of Mr. Pistorius’ character, quizzing Mr. van Zyl about the athlete allegedly kicking chairs when he was left out of a race in South Korea. Mr. Van Zyl said he was unaware of any such action, but responded that Mr. Pistorius was upset.
Mr. Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux quoted psychiatrists’ report as saying the defendant does not exhibit narcissism. The report was made public on Monday after Mr. Pistorius’ mental health was evaluated at a Pretoria psychiatric hospital for 30 days.
The defence is expected to close its case this week, and then with the prosecution will be given up to six weeks to prepare closing arguments. The court will then adjourn until Judge Thokozile Masipa issues her verdict.
Mr. Pistorius, whose legs were amputated at the knee as an infant because of a congenital abnormality, became the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 London Olympics.
If found guilty of premeditated murder, he may have to face a life sentence of at least 25 years in prison.