UK & World News
Oscar Pistorius Defence Team On The Attack
Two things are already clear from the opening stages of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial: the athlete intends to play a full role in his defence; and his lawyers plan to pursue an aggressive approach as they try to keep him out of jail.
In his bail hearing last February, Pistorius struggled to compose himself, frequently breaking down in tears as he sat shaking in court.
This time he has appeared calm and focused, and from the start of the case he has been busy taking notes.
Several times he has handed slips of paper to his legal team, participating in every stage. The athlete, famed for his determination on the track, seems to have brought some of that steel to his trial.
He and his lawyers have had a year to prepare and there is little doubt the Paralympic athlete has been key to the discussions about strategy.
He certainly knew what to expect when he hired Advocate Barry Roux to lead his defence: a bruiser of an attorney, famed for his ability to win cases and rattle witnesses on the stand.
He lived up to that reputation as he launched his cross-examination of the prosecution's first witness.
Michell Burger, a neighbour of the athlete, had told the court how she was awoken by screaming on the night Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp.
She described the woman's cries as "blood-curdling" and said she also heard a man shouting for help.
She also spoke of her horror at hearing four gunshots being fired.
Mr Roux, well aware that this was damaging evidence - contradicting Pistorius' defence that he thought Ms Steenkamp was asleep in bed and he was shooting at an intruder - went on the offensive.
The questions were fired fast to try to unsettle the witness; she was accused of being confused and even asked to vouch for the honesty of her husband who had heard more than four shots.
Mr Roux claimed the woman's voice she heard could have been Pistorius and that the shots were the sound of the athlete using a cricket bat to break down the bathroom door after realising he had shot Ms Steenkamp by mistake.
It was a fiery exchange, with Ms Burger sticking to her account, but Mr Roux might have introduced just a hint of doubt where before there was none.
We can expect more of this, Pistorius sharply focused on his freedom, as Barry Roux spars with the renowned and tenacious lead prosecutor, Gerrie Nel.
There is no jury for the two men to sway, just one judge, Thokozile Masipa, who will ultimately decide what really happened to the 29-year-old Ms Steenkamp that night and, with it, Pistorius' fate.
:: Sky News' live coverage of the trial is under way, and a special highlights programme will be broadcast every weekday at 9.30pm.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.