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The charges related to the 2011 incident had been provisionally withdrawn, but police say they have been reinstated.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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid