Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court (Reuters) - Eurosport
 
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Athletics > Pistorius case

Wednesday: As it happened


By Eurosport
Last update The 20/02/2013 at 16:04 -
By Eurosport - The 20/02/2013 at 16:04
Key events from Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing on Wednesday as they developed.

* A witness heard "non-stop shouting" coming from the home of Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead, prosecutors have said.

* Investigating officer Hilton Botha says more charges will be added after police found unlicensed .38 ammunition in a safe.

* Defending lawyer Kenny Oldwage says the "testosterone" Botha claims was found in Pistorius's apartment was a legal herbal remedy used by athletes.

* Botha confirms to defence that there were no signs of assault on Steenkamp, or of her having defended herself against an assault, in the post-mortem.

* Defence lawyer Barry Roux says in response to claims from Botha that Pistorius is a flight risk as he has a house in Italy: "There is no house in Italy."

* Magistrate Desmond Nair asks Botha if he thinks Pistorius would flee the country, despite being a recognised athlete and using prostheses. Botha says yes.

* Bail hearing adjourned until Thursday 9am UK time.

- - -

12:45 UK time

Magistrate Nair asks Botha if he thinks Pistorius would flee the country, despite being a recognised athlete and using prostheses. Botha says yes. Laughter is heard from the gallery.

Nair asks if Botha believes Pistorius would flee to a country with no extradition treaty with South Africa. Botha says yes.

Nair asks if a gold medal winning athlete would forsake their career and avoid a chance to clear their name in court. Botha says it is possible.

Court is adjourned until Thursday 9am UK time.

12:30

Botha tells lead prosecutor Nel that the witness to reported shouting was more like 300m away, not 600m as stated previously.

Botha says he was the investigating officer in a previous matter in 2009. Pistorius is now suing the woman who laid the charge against him for malicious prosecution and wrongful arrest.

Botha says he chose not to push for an assault charge in 2009 because he believed Pistorius's version of events.

12:00

Defence lawyer Barry Roux says in response to claims from Botha that Pistorius is a flight risk as he has a house in Italy: "There is no house in Italy."

Botha admits he has no evidence that Pistorius attached his prosthetic legs before the shooting occurred.

Botha admits his team missed a spent bullet inside the toilet bowl.

Roux suggests Botha contaminated the scene. The investigating office says: "I went out and there were no more feet covers left."

10:45

Botha confirms to defence that there were no signs of assault on Steenkamp, or of her having defended herself against an assault, in the post-mortem.

He confirms to Oldwage that he found nothing at the scene inconsistent with Pistorius's account of what happened.

Court session breaks for 45 minutes for lunch.

10:19

Botha says that a witness heard a gunshot at the home of Pistorius followed by screams then more shots.

Defending lawyer Kenny Oldwage, questioning the investigating officer, says that the "testosterone" he claims was found in Pistorius's apartment was a legal herbal remedy used by athletes.

Botha admits not reading the whole label as it was dark - substance was indeed a herbal remedy.

Botha also admits that the aforementioned witness - who is also said to have heard a non-stop argument between the former sprinter and Steenkamp before she was shot - lives 600m away. There are gasps in court.

Oldwage added that Steenkamp's bladder was empty when she was found, which is consistent with his client's story that she must have gone to the toilet in the middle of the night.

09:40

Investigating officer Hilton Botha claims that police found two boxes of testosterone and needles in Pistorius's apartment. There is an audible intake of breath in the courtroom.

08:50

A witness heard "non-stop shouting" coming from the home of Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead, prosecutors have said.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel painted a picture of a premeditated killing, a crime which carries a life sentence in South Africa. "If I arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that is premeditated," he told the packed courtroom.

Investigating officer Hilton Botha said he was opposing bail because he believed Pistorius to be "a flight risk" as he has offshore accounts and a house in Italy. "If he managed to leave the country, we might struggle to get him back," he said.

Botha said Steenkamp was in a locked toilet adjoining Pistorius's bathroom when hit by three bullets - in the head, elbow and hip - and that the angle at which the shots were fired through the door suggested the shooter had aimed specifically to hit somebody on the toilet.

He said more charges would be added after police found unlicensed .38 ammunition in a safe.

08:05

The hearing gets under way an hour late due to overcrowding in the Pretoria courtroom caused by huge media interest.

Oscar Pistorius enters the court. Magistrate Desmond Nair says, "Good morning, sir." "Good morning, your worship," Pistorius replies.

Eurosport

 

BACKGROUND

The case against Oscar Pistorius, charged with the premeditated murder of model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is being made by prosecutors as his bail hearing continues.

The session was set to resume at 7am UK time but was again delayed amid a media scrum. Earlier Pistorius arrived in a police car, covered in a blue blanket.

It is though the hearing, originally set to be held over two days, could take all week with the trial not expected for months.

On Tuesday prosecutors said Pistorius put on his artificial legs and walked across his bedroom before firing four shots through a locked toilet door, killing Steenkamp as she cowered behind it.

Having requested an adjournment in the afternoon in order to consult with the chief investigating officer, they will now detail their case against the Paralympic star.

They are expected to focus upon arguments heard between the couple last Wednesday night, hours before Steenkamp's death.

Pistorius disputes that and said he mistook her for an intruder after hearing a noise from the bathroom as he fearfully checked the balcony of his apartment in Pretoria in pitch darkness.

He claims he did not realise she had left the bed they shared, that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs and that he was "deeply in love" with her.

He said that he shouted for Steenkamp to call the police. Upon realising that she was not in bed, he broke down the door with a cricket bat and attempted to revive her before she died in his arms.

"I was absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva," his lawyer read out in the affidavit, during which the former sprinter sobbed unrestrainedly, prompting magistrate Desmond Nair to halt proceedings for several minutes.

Having had previous death threats and break-ins, Pistorius said he slept with a 9mm pistol under his bed in his plush home in the heart of a well-secured gated community.

The prosecution paint a different picture of an unstable Pistorius who planned to kill Steenkamp. They were successful in having him charged with a 'schedule six' murder offence on Tuesday, meaning premeditated.

Steenkamp's funeral model was held at a crematorium in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, with mourners calling for justice for the 29-year-old law graduate and model.

 

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