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Oscar Pistorius In Final Court Showdown With Prosecutor Gerrie, The 'Bulldog', Nel

07/08/2014 10:46 BST | Updated 07/08/2014 10:59 BST

After a one-month break, Oscar Pistorius is back in court to hear Chief Prosecutor Gerrie Nel and Defence Advocate Barry Roux lock horns as they present their final argument in a case that has gripped the world.

The next two days are pivotal for the case as the strongest argument could swing the final verdict.

After this week's final showdown in Pretoria, Judge Thokozile Masipa will decide with the help of two legal assistants if Pistorius committed murder, is guilty of a negligent killing, or if he made a tragic error and should be acquitted.

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Oscar Pistorius ahead of the final arguments

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has already begun his concluding remarks, with Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, expected to follow with his closing arguments on Friday.

The South African athlete has so far been accused of being a "deceitful witness" who dropped the "baton of truth", at the start of closing arguments, the BBC reported.

Mr Nel, nicknamed "Bulldog" for his tenacity in the courtroom, summed up the state's case by referring to Pistorius's "weak" performance at the witness stand, The Telegraph reported.

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Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"The court should have no hesitation in rejecting the accused version of events as... in essence as being absolutely devoid of any truth," he said.

"He's always the victim of circumstances... refused to take any responsibility and also sought to place blame somewhere else.

"[Pistorius's account is] 'I cannot say why I shot four bullets through the door... but I cannot be blamed'"

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Oscar Pistorius Trial

Ms Steenkamp was killed at Mr Pistorius' home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, on 14 February last year.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to all four of the charges made against him, insisting that he fired at Ms Steenkamp in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder. But the prosecution says he deliberately shot her after a row.

After a total of 37 witnesses and 39 days in court stretched over an agonising four months – the verdict with ultimately depend on which out of the two lawyers presents the most convincing version of events.

Mr Nel has accused the athlete's lawyers of presenting two lines of defence that "can never be reconciled." Mr Pistorius has said he had fired both involuntarily and also out of fear, Mr Nel argued, insisting the court had to choose only one of his defences.

He also argued that Pistorius has been "tailoring" his evidence and that he was more concerned with "defending his life" than entrusting the court with a truthful version of events.

"It's a snowball effect of a lie - you tell one, and it just becomes too much, you have to keep going and going with these lies," he said, Sky's Alex Crawford reported from court.

Judge Masipa is expected to set a date for the verdict after the closing arguments and announce an adjournment, which could take weeks, before a conclusion is reached. Once the verdict is announced, an appeal may then be launched.