Video: Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriends murder

Oscar Pistorius arrived at the court building in a police car with a blue blanket covering his head today as prosecutors prepared to outline in more detail why they believe the double-amputee Olympian murdered his girlfriend and should be denied bail.

The 26-year-old Pistorius sat in the back of the car, which was in a convoy of three police vehicles that entered the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court through a side entrance ahead of the second day of his bail hearing.

Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the February 14 shooting death of model Reeva Steenkamp at his upscale home in the eastern suburbs of the South African capital, Pretoria.

Pistorius said in an affidavit read out by his senior defence lawyer yesterday that the Valentine’s Day killing of Steenkamp was accidental and that he shot her by mistake in fear of an intruder in his house. He said he kept a 9 mm pistol under his bed and was worried about violent home robberies and had also received death threats. South Africa’s society is distressed by high levels of violent crime.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court on the first day of the hearing that he would elaborate on the state’s version that the 29-year-old Steenkamp and the world’s most famous paralympic athlete had a fight the night of her death and that she fled to the toilet before Pistorius shot four times into the locked door of the toilet enclosed in his bathroom, hitting her three times and killing her.

Since Pistorius has been charged with premeditated murder, the magistrate said his defence must offer “exceptional” reasons for him to be freed on bail.

“She locked that door for a purpose. We’ll get to that purpose,” prosecutor Nel told a packed courtroom, which had a capacity of 60 but was crammed with around 100 people yesterday.

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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