News / Africa

Pistorius's Story Challenged, Bail Decision Pending

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013.
Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013.
Anita Powell
Lawyers have concluded their arguments in the bail hearing of South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. The prosecution says Pistorius, a double amputee athlete, committed pre-meditated murder, while the defense maintains he thought he was shooting a burglar.  

The day in court ended with a question from Magistrate Desmond Nair:  Will Oscar Pistorius flee if he grants him bail ahead of his murder trial?

Nair will have to decide that in coming days, as he prepares to rule on the athlete's bail application.

It was a day of back and forth arguments from the prosecution and defense.

The prosecution first called up Hilton Botha, an experienced police investigator who was on the scene shortly after the February 14 shooting at Pistorius' Pretoria home.

Botha said police found model Reeva Steenkamp dead at the scene and fully clothed.  Botha noted that Pistorius fired four shots through the closed door to the bathroom, but that the toilet does not line up with the door.  

Botha also said that police found a stock of unlicensed ammunition at the runner’s home and four mobile phones -- none of which had been used to call police or an ambulance, as Pistorius said he had.  

Botha also said a witness told police that she heard loud talking from the house for an hour before the 3 a.m. shooting, indicating that Pistorius may have argued with Steenkamp before the shooting.

He noted two prior violent incidents involving Pistorius: he said the Olympic athlete accidentally fired a weapon in January at a popular Johannesburg restaurant and talked a friend into taking the blame.  He also threatened to hurt two different men.

Oscar Pistorius

  • Born without fibula bones
  • Legs amputated below the knee at 11 months
  • Ran with carbon fiber prosthetics that earned him nickname "Blade Runner"
  • In 2008, successfully appealed ban against competing in major competitions
  • Failed to qualify for Beijing Olympics
  • Won gold in 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters at 2008 Paralympics
  • In 2012, became first double-amputee to run in the Olympics
Botha also said police found "testosterone, needles and injections" in Pistorius' bedroom.

Botha concluded: “I believe that he knew she was in the bathroom, and that he fired four shots through the door, and killed her.”

Defense Attorney Barry Roux then questioned Botha's account of the fatal shooting.   Roux says that Pistorius mistook his girlfriend of three months for a burglar who had gotten into the bathroom and shot her dead through the closed bathroom door.

Roux questioned the policework -- noting that Botha failed to wear protective shoes at the scene, and that he missed one phone that Pistorius had used to call police.  He also accused Botha of entering the house with a preconceived idea of what Pistorius had done.

Concerning the testosterone claim, Roux said the substance was a herbal remedy used by many athletes, and not a banned substance.

Botha, under questioning, said that Pistorius' account of the shooting was not inconsistent with evidence police found at the scene.

The investigator maintained that he suspected Pistorius would flee -- perhaps to Italy, where he has known ties -- if granted bail.

One of Pistorius' friends, magnate Kenny Kunene, was in court for both days of the bail hearing.  

"I'm hoping for bail," said Kunene. "He gave his side of the story yesterday.  And all those prophets of doom, who have reduced him to being guilty before they could even know about his version, we will wait and see how the case ends up.  Obviously, it's keep up there and we'll keep praying, and we'll let him keep praying, I will remain loving him, and I will remain a friend, and if he calls upon me to help him, I will do so."

After two days of arguments, Magistrate Nair will now rule on the bail request.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday because of its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gerry
February 20, 2013 10:50 PM
This individual should not be granted bail in terms of violence against women in South Africa, where the use of firearms has become to common. Keeping him imprisoned under suicide watch, would ensure he stands trial for this heinous crime and
sends out a clear message to all who use such violence against women.


by: noel from: nyc
February 20, 2013 5:54 PM
Tired of this story being on the front page. Young, blond, pretty, murdered...lets move on. The black woman in NY was decapitated with a knife by her hubby. She's an American and she didn't make the US evening news. I wonder why?


by: Angela from: Lancaster, Pa
February 20, 2013 3:41 PM
Could the screaming before the shooting been Oscar yelling at the supposed robber? Hope the Steenkamps can find a way to go on. This is horrible. I am also curious about what Oscar got or was getting Reeva for Valentine's Day. Did he buy her something? And what was it? It was their first Valentine's Day together. Just wondering....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid