Pistorius trial, day 1, part 2 - as it happened

2014-03-03 13:07
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Oscar Pistorius arrives in court

See pictures as Oscar Pistorius arrives in court to go on trial for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp.

Our coverage of the Oscar Pistoruis trial continues as the Paralympian appears in court for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

On Monday morning, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to all the charges at the North Gauteng High Court. 

A neighbour, Michelle Burger, also told the court how she was woken by terrible screams in the early hours of 14 February last year, then heard four shots. 

Find the updates from Monday morning’s session here and the pre-trial buzz earlier on Monday here

16:06 - OK, so we're done for the day. I'm going to read up on what else is happening in the world (there's other news - for real!). If you want all the details of what happened today (Monday), get it all here

15:56 - OP is being escorted out of court by some burly men, says Sky News's Alex Crawford. Arnold Pistorius says they're his sons. 

15:51 - OP gathering his papers and talking to legal team. Looks relaxed. 

15:49 - The trial's down for three week.s Burger will be back again tomorrow. The State says it has 107 witnesses. And there's the defence's witnesses. In three weeks. Yeah, good luck with that. 

15:46 - Burger will be back on the witness stand on Tuesday (tomorrow). 

15:45 - Judge asks for time. "Tomorrow we start at 09:30," she says. Court suddenly adjourned. 

15:41 - Roux: Don't want to be unfair to the interpreter...can you explain 'deurmekaar'?

15:40 - MB says she also saw how close she was to OP house when police photographer came to her home.

15:38 - Burger says she saw on Sky and CNN how close her house was to OP's

15:37 - I never doubted that woman's life was threatened, says MB.

15:35 - MB says  I can't say what he was thinking but we had thought there was a housebreaking so I explained how I remembered it

15:35 - BR suggesting the noise MB heard was cricket bat bashing toilet door and not gunshots.

15:33 - MB explains she hears rhythm as she studied music when she was young so she's certain she heard four gunshots. 

15:32 - MB: The gunshots were loud, so I suppose he heard them clearly. 

15:31 - BR wants to know how MB heard so well the gunshots and where husband was. MB: He was on the balcony. 

15:29 - Roux says MB didn't hear because "you should have been awake".

15:27 - MB: I didn't hear a man crying. If it was somewhere else, I didn't hear it. I only heard the screaming. If someone was crying I would not hear it 170 metres away. 

15:25 - Roux says to MB: Let's look at the attitude with which you approach this - you heard Pistorius’ version and believed it was not true.

15:23 - MB sticking to her line "I can only say what I heard". 

15:22 - I heard gunshots. I didn't hear a cricket bat (on the door). I think most South Africans know when they hear a gunhots.

15:21 - MB repeats that her bedroom window was open so she would hear gunshot sounds from OP's home. 

15:20 - Roux is arguing that Burger was asleep when the gunshots were fired, and what she believed were shots was the bat on door.

15:19 - I've heard gunshots in the night and I've shot once before, a few years ago, at a driving range. 

15:18 - BR: You didn't even hear cricket bat on door. MB: I'm sure gunshot would be louder than a cricket bat.

15:17 - I can compare the yelps of the persons screaming and the first person was definitely a woman screaming. 

15:17 - Quite sure I heard woman's screams, says MB. 

15:16 - No doubt that screams were from two different people. 

15:15 - Roux says Oscar sounds like a woman when he screams, his voice pitches, and they’ll call a witness to that effect.

15:14 - I don't think I heard Mr Pistorius screaming, says MB. 

15:13 - I'm not going to change testimony, I can only say what I heard, says MB. BR says he's not trying to get her to change. 

15:12 - My sister's baby died on Friday night, I slept. I sleep after traumatic events - MB. Can't say when she fell asleep (on night of OP shooting). 

15:11 - Roux asks what MB did after the shots. She says after screams died she was still sitting in bed, husband came in.

15:10 - Interpreter (who isn't being used) forced to leave court after coughing fit. 

15:09 -  I only heard shots, not cricket bat - MB.

15:07 - BR moves onto the toilet door: The bashing of the door would resemble gunshots.

15:06 - Roux moves on, asks why MB could not hear Pistorius bashing down the door with a cricket bat, but could hear every scream.

15:02 - I can only state what I heard. I heard four shots.

15:02 - MB insists that she did tell the police the screaming was "terrible" but Mr Roux says it's not in her statement.

15:00 - BR: You didn't mention the scream during the "boom, boom, boom" (shots).

14:59 - BR trying to show inconsistencies in MB's statement. MB being called back. 

14:56 -  Burger is excused from the court to allow Nel to address the court on her statement.

14:54 - I heard woman's scream shortly after last shot.

14:54 - Roux: But why did you not say you heard the woman screaming in between the shots. Burger: I said it now.

14:53 - Roux: you say in your statement that you heard the woman scream, and then four shots. Burger: yes

14:52 - so, no more interpreter? Witness Burger is now speaking in English.  

14:51 - I didn't put that word (blood-curdling) in statement. But I did put down emotions. I did tell Van Aardt the screaming was terrible, blood-curdling.

14:50 - Pistorius spokesperson says family in court today are siblings Carl and Aimee, uncle Arnold and wife Lois, their daughters Maria and Eunice...

14:49 - You didn't mention "blood-curdling" scream to Van Aardt.

14:47 - Nel tries to save witness a bit from BR. The statement only says 'I heard a scream', says BR. There's no mention of blood-curdling. If you'd given emotions to Capt Van Aardt, I'm sure he'd have captured that in statement. 

14:47 -  Roux refers Burger to paragraph 6 of statement - “I heard the woman scream.” Roux: We don’t hear bloodcurdling, anxiety, etc.

14:45 - And we're back.

14:37 - I have a feeling that what this witness is going through is tame compared to the cross-examination awaiting the police, tweets News24's Sipho Hlongwane who is at the high court.

14:35 - Roux was really ripping into Burger. Picked apart every single sentence. 

14:32 - BR asks for "very short adjournment" to make copies of MB's statement. Done. 

14:31 - Roux (henceforth BR) going over MB's statement to police now.

14:30 - Can't describe that scream. Blood-curdling. 

14:29 - So witness is just speaking in English now. Not bothering with translator. 

14:29 - The most helpless feeling I've ever had. I knew something terrible was happening in that house. You only shout like that if your life is threatened. - MB

14:28 - What is engrained in your mind is that this woman was totally petrified. 

14:27 - Was it an independent scream or echoing from previous scream. 

14:26 - I didn't hear her a minute after the last shot, it was a moment after. 

14:25 - I heard screaming, then I heard her call for help, than I heard a man call for help three times. Afterwards I heard petrified scream

14:24 - Roux says MB not sure about her statement. Statement contradicts what you say in court. "What is it that you heard in relation to the shots?"

14:23 - The shots and screaming happened quickly. Didn't write down timing of each shot. 

14:23 - She could have screamed just after the last shot or shortly after. 

14:21 - Roux wants to know what MB remembers. Four shots, I heard a voice just after was the last time I heard a voice, says MB. The same woman who woke me with her screams, I heard her voice, says MB.

14:20 - I heard her voice just after the shots. 

14:20 - I heard the screams just after the shots. It was fading away. 

14:19 - Hearing the witness constantly correct the translator is a bit weird.

14:19 - It was during the shots that I heard the woman scream. Just after the shots, her voice started fading, says MB.

14:17 - Judge asks counsel if interpreter can be relied on.

14:15 - Witness says she's correcting some of what translator is saying. Witness says she's comfortable in English but her mother tongue is Afrikaans.  

14:13 - Roux wants explanation of "confusing "evening". MB says she the evening was "distressing" because she was awake and then asleep. "Event of that evening was extremely traumatic. The fear in that woman's voice... It was very emotional. Petrified screams and shouts." 

14:13 - Yes, the witness is helping the translator translate. That is actually happening. 

14:11 -  Berger says: I am honest with the court and my husband will be. Roux: How do you KNOW he'll be honest?

14:07 - For me it was definitely four shots. Didn't change statement. 

14:06 - "What I heard that day is what I'm telling the court today," MB says. Roux picking part everything MB says. 

14:05 - I know I heard four shots. My husband didn't say he heard four as I did, he said what he heard. 

14:05 - MB repeating herself about what husband heard. "What husband heard is what he heard."

14:04 - Of course I read my statement but my husband's statement is his own. Statements done separately. 

14:03 - Discussed certain things with husband. Husband unsure how many shots he heard. Could have been four, five or six, MB repeats. Made a point not to read the statement taken by police officer. 

14:02 - I don't know contents of husband's statement. It was four, five or six he heard. 

14:01 - Roux asks how many shots husband heard. MB says he didn't know number of shots. 

14:01 - I clearly heard four gunshots after I made the call. 

14:00 - Roux asks irritably: Madam, what was my question? 

14:00 - MB repeats that she awoke to woman's petrified screams. 

13:58 - I didn't hear cricket bat banged on the door but heard gunshots, says Burger (henceforth MB). 

13:57 - I don't understand how OP didn't hear woman's screams, says Burger. OP looking down while Burger speaks. Roux says he's not letting her off on this but moving on to another point. 

13:56 - Roux: Do you believe the accused or not? Burger: She says she doesn't understand how he didnt hear the woman screaming.

13:55 - Barry Roux asks Burger whether her basic assumption is that Pistorius is a liar. He sounds... irritated.

13:55 - Some debate over what precisely the cameras are allowed to show inside the court if the picture of the witness is excluded...

13:51 - Judge proposing that we re-start on Tuesday (tomorrow) at 09:30 and finish around 15:00.

13:50 - Court is back in session.

13:45 - When court resumes, the State's witness, Michelle Burger, will be cross-examined by the defence. Many reporters say it could get nasty.

13:11 - Annemarie is still here, says Rebecca Davis. She just informed a member of the prosecution that she was having an "urgent interdict" in Court A.

13:10 - Oscar Pistorius (OP) trial is on a lunch break. They'll be back at 13:50. 

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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