Trial adjourns until next week after prosecutor grills Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius
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Oscar Pistorius' murder trial has been adjourned until next week.

The South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete faced another day of tough questioning by the chief prosecutor Friday. Gerrie Nel asked Pistorius why he didn't check his girlfriend's whereabouts before firing four shots through the bathroom door. Pistorius says he shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake after thinking there was an intruder in his home.

During Pistorius cross-examination, Nel alleged Steenkamp "was standing behind the toilet door talking to you when you shot her."

Pistorius denied Nel's claim, saying, "that's not true" in a dramatic exchange.

Nel also questioned why a person who was "vulnerable" would have approached danger.

During cross examination Thursday, the prosecutor not only hammered the Paralympian about his account of the moments before his girlfriend's death, but he also grilled Pistorius on the circumstances related to several firearms charges against him.

That includes the accusation that Pistorius fired a Glock pistol under the table in a crowded restaurant weeks before Steenkamp was killed.

The prosecutor was incredulous when Pistorius said he was holding the gun, but insisted he didn't pull the trigger.

A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn't be fired without pulling the trigger.

A former police officer and firearms expert says the very design of the gun won't let it fire unless the trigger is pulled, even if it is dropped.

"The firearm won't be able to discharge if don't pull the trigger and activate the lever inside that's integrated into the lever, because you've got a cut-off system into the firing pin that basically blocks it off. So if you don't activate the lever and the trigger together, it's impossible. Even if you let it drop, it won't be able to discharge," said Jaco Potgieter, handgun expert.

"As you can see here, the Glock has been integrated with a unique lever that basically works as a safety mechanism. It does not come with a external safety mechanism as all other firearms, like a Z88 or a Beretta. So if you want to fire this, you have to basically trigger the lever and pull back that trigger so it can work and cohere with each other," said Potgieter.

The trial has been adjourned until Monday.