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    Oscar Pistorius 'thought he was firing at intruder'

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    Nameless
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    Oscar Pistorius 'thought he was firing at intruder'

    Post by Nameless on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:25 am

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    South African athletics star Oscar Pistorius has denied murdering his girlfriend, saying he shot her by mistake thinkingshe was an intruder.
    He told a packed bail hearing in Pretoria that he loved Reeva Steenkamp and had never intended to kill her.
    Prosecutors accuse Mr Pistorius of premeditated murder. They say he shot his girlfriend dead deliberately, firing through a locked bathroom door.
    The hearing came as Ms Steenkamp's family held her funeral.
    The case has shocked South Africans and many around the world who admire Oscar Pistorius for overcoming adversity to become a Paralympic champion.

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    Tuesday's hearing began with the prosecution giving its account of the killing, which it says was premeditated murder by the 26-year-old athlete at his home in Pretoria.
    Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that in the early hours ofthe morning of 14 February, Mr Pistorius - a double amputee - had got up from bed, put on his prostheses, and fired his pistol through the locked door of the bathroom.
    He shot four times and hit Ms Steenkamp three times, Mr Nel said.
    He added that the defendant later broke down the bathroomdoor with a cricket bat and carried the body downstairs.
    'Pitch - dark'
    Defence lawyer Barry Roux then read a sworn statement from Mr Pistorius, saying the couple had been "deeply in love".
    The couple went to sleep shortly after 22:00, the statement said.
    In the middle of the night, Mr Pistorius woke up and went to the balcony because he thought he had heard an intruder, it added.
    "It was pitch-dark in the bedroom. I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable."
    According to the statement, Mr Pistorius thought Ms Steenkamp was still in bed, and he fired through the bathroom door, believing he was shooting at a robber.
    When he realised Ms Steenkamp was not in the bed, "it filledme with horror and fear", it said.
    Mr Pistorius broke the door down to find his girlfriend shot inside.
    "She died in my arms," the statement said. "I am absolutely mortified at the death of my beloved Reeva".
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    The BBC's Andrew Harding said the court was told Pistorius was 'convinced he was being burgled'
    The athlete wept in court as the statement was read out.
    The hearing was later adjourned until Wednesday.
    Meanwhile, the private funeral for the 29-year-old model and law graduate was held in her home town of Port Elizabeth.
    Her father, Barry Steenkamp, told reporters: "We have to keep Reeva in our hearts forever".
    Her brother Adam said there was "a space missing" inside all the people she knew.
    The case has aroused huge interest both in South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius is regarded as a national hero, and around the world.
    He is a multiple Paralympic champion, winning gold medals at the 2004 Games in Athens, at Beijing 2008 and at London 2012.
    In London he made history by becoming the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, progressing to the semi-finals of the 400m.
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    Re: Oscar Pistorius 'thought he was firing at intruder'

    Post by Xealer on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:58 am

    As the prosecution began setting out its case on Wednesday, it said a witness had testified to hearing "non-stop talking like fighting" between the hours of 02:00 and 03:00 on 14 February.
    The first officer to arrive on the scene - chief investigatingofficer Hilton Botha - later said a witness had testified to hearing screams and gunshots from the house.
    "We have statement of a person who said after he heard gunshots, he went to his balcony and saw the light was on. Then he heard a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots," Mr Botha told the court, according to AFP news agency.
    Mr Pistorius claims he was asleep until only moments before the shooting and that there was no argument between the couple.
    Earlier, Mr Botha said he arrived at the house at 04:15 and found Ms Steenkamp lying dead on the ground floor. She waswearing white shorts and a black vest and was covered in towels, he said.
    A lawyer and Mr Pistorius's brother were already at the scene.
    Mr Botha said a memory stick was recovered with details of Mr Pistorius's offshore bank accounts - and claimed that made him a flight risk.
    And he said Mr Pistorius would face an additional charge of possessing unlicensed ammunition.
    Ms Steenkamp was shot in the right side of her head, her right hip and her right elbow, Mr Botha said.
    He later testified that he thought the bullets were fired"down", suggesting Mr Pistorius had his prosthetic legs on.
    Mr Pistorius has claimed he was walking on his stumps - making him feel particularly vulnerable - but the prosecution has argued he stopped to put his legs on, adding weight to its case that the shooting was premeditated.
    Mr Botha said police found two boxes of the male sex hormone testosterone and needles in Mr Pistorius's bedroom.
    But Mr Botha was later put on the defensive when questioned by Mr Pistorius's lawyer, says the BBC's Andrew Harding who is in the courtroom.
    He admitted one witness who heard arguing at the house was in her own home 600m (a third of a mile) away.
    The testosterone found was actually a legal herbal remedy used by athletes, the defence said.
    It accused Mr Botha of putting the "worst possible interpretation" on the evidence

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