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The charges related to the 2011 incident had been provisionally withdrawn, but police say they have been reinstated.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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid