News / Africa

Pistorius Bail Hearing Enters Final Arguments

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius stands during his bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, February 21, 2013
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius stands during his bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, February 21, 2013
VOA News
The defense team for South African runner Oscar Pistorius is making final arguments that he should be freed on bail.

Attorney Barry Roux reiterated the defense case that the shooting by Pistorius of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was an accident, not premeditated murder.  He also said investigators have a weak case against his client.

“Your worship, and I say this with great deference, but the poor quality of the evidence of the investigating officer Botha further exposed an endeavor on the part of the state to avoid disastrous shortcomings in the state’s case,” said Roux.

The judge overseeing the case briefly adjourned Thursday's hearing because of an unspecified threat, but proceedings resumed after 10 minutes.

The magistrate said earlier this week that he could not rule out premeditation in the case, but said the charge could be downgraded.  Premeditated murder carries a possible life sentence in prison.

Before the defense began its final arguments, the case took a surprise turn with revelations about the lead investigator.  Authorities said Detective Hilton Botha has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder in connection with allegedly firing at a vehicle he was trying to stop.

The charges related to the 2011 incident had been provisionally withdrawn, but police say they have been reinstated.

Related - Lead Investigator in Pistorius Case Facing Attempted Murder Charges

Botha was asked to return to the witness stand Thursday, but was not asked about his own case.

Botha testified Wednesday that Pistorius' account of how he killed Reeva Steenkamp is consistent with what police found at the crime scene.

Pistorius insists he thought he was shooting at a burglar and had no intention of killing Steenkamp at his home last week.  Prosecutors say the nighttime shooting through a bathroom door was premeditated murder.

Botha agreed with Roux there were no signs of an assault on Steenkamp's body and no signs she defended herself from an assault.

Roux also argued with Botha's statement that the shots through the door were fired downward, suggesting Pistorius, known as the "blade runner" for his artificial legs, put the legs on before heading to the door.  

Pistorius said in an affidavit Tuesday that he was moving around on his stumps.

Pistorius is regarded as a sports hero and national icon in South Africa.  He made history in August when he became the first double amputee to run at the Olympics.  

Since the shooting, major sponsors Oakley and Nike have both suspended their contracts with Pistorius.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: John
February 21, 2013 10:06 AM
How can the defense attorney say it was an accident.
What Detective Training has he had to arrive at this statement.
I hope the Court turns the bail application down and remands Oscar straight to facility until the the time for his trial. Maybe
Oscar should take a lie detector test? to verify his statement.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid