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Pistorius trial - key points from day 19

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Oscar Pistorius came under brutal cross-examination Wednesday, a crucial stage in his murder trial for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Here are highlights from proceedings on the trial's 19th day:

- Prosecutor Gerrie Nel launched a blistering cross-examination, trying to break the Paralympian's resolve and force a confession:

"You made a 'mistake'?" he asked with a raised voice.

"You killed a person, that's what you did! You shot and killed her, won't you take responsibility for that?"

"Say 'yes', say 'I shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp'."

- Nel tried to force Pistorius to look at a graphic picture of the 29-year-old model's gaping head wound and blonde hair drenched in red coagulated blood,displayed on the courtroom's 10 large flat screens.

He refused.

"I don't want to look at a picture where I'm tormented by what I saw," he said while crying loudly.

- Discrepancies between Pistorius's bail application and plea statements as well as his testimony came under scrutiny.

Pistorius conceded he did not go out onto the balcony to fetch two fans, but was inside the bedroom. This raises questions as to why he did not hear Steenkamp leave the bed to go to the bathroom, according to his version.

He was evasive when asked about his reference to two fans being on the balcony, as opposed to one in his bail application.

- Pistorius denied intentionally killing Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, and said she died in his arms before the ambulance arrived.

"I did not intend to kill Reeva, my lady, or anyone else," he told his trial on a third day on the witness stand.

"Reeva had already died while I was holding her," he said.

- The shooting was "accidental", the 27-year-old said.

"I didn't have time to think, I just discharged my firearm," he said.

Pistorius could still be convicted of murder on his account that he thought he shot at an intruder -- unless he can convince the court that he shot on reflex and not intentionally.

- Defence lawyer Barry Roux noted that the prosecution had not called various neighbours who heard only a man crying, and not a woman's screams. State witnesses' testimony about the screams will be key to the prosecutors' argument that Pistorius knew who was behind the door when he fired the shots.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140409/pistorius-trial-key-points-day-19