Oscar trials continues

By Drum Digital
10 March 2014

Murder-accused paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's trial will enter its second week on Monday in the High Court in Pretoria.

Last week, a number of witnesses underwent often tenacious cross-examination by defence lawyer Barry Roux SC, as well as questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, as the court began to piece together the events of February 14 2013.

Pistorius has admitted that he shot his then-girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentines Day, but claims he believed he was targeting an intruder when he fired four shots into a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home. The blonde model was wounded in the arm, leg and head and died on the scene.

The final witness last week, Pieter Baba, the chief security guard at Pistorius's townhouse complex, told the court that when he phoned Pistorius after a neighbour reported hearing gunfire, Pistorius had told him everything was fine, although he could be heard crying.

Ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, portrayed the double amputee as an argumentative man who constantly carried his handgun and slept with it loaded by his side.

Earlier in the week, three of Pistorius's neighbours told the court they were woken around 3am by a woman's cries, followed by gunshots.

One of the neighbours, radiologist Johan Stipp, said when he went to Pistorius's home to see if he could help, he found the 27-year-old crying and praying next to a dying Steenkamp.

Three witnesses also gave testimony about a separate incident in which a gun went off, allegedly in Pistorius's hand, in a packed Johannesburg restaurant a month before Steenkamp's death.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to the charge of premeditated murder and to charges of contravening the Firearms Act.

He has denied that the couple argued earlier on the night of the shooting.

Nel has told the court that since there were no eye witnesses to the event, the State would be relying on circumstantial and forensic evidence.

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