Pistorius Apologises For Killing Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius enters the dock before in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates courtThe South African blade runner, Oscar Pistorius, accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Monday apologised to her family, saying he was trying to protect her.

In a trembling voice, an emotional Pistorius said he was “trying to protect” her and said he could not imagine her family’s pain.

While giving his testimony at the resumed murder trial, Mr Pistorius said he suffered “terrible nightmares” and often woke up smelling Ms Steenkamp’s blood.

Prosecutors say he killed her in February 2013 after an argument. He says he mistook her for an intruder.

The Paralympic athlete told Ms Steenkamp’s relatives that there “hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family”.

Trying To Protect Reeva

“I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for. I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I’ve caused you and your family.

“I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.

“I’m scared to sleep, I have terrible nightmares, I can smell blood and wake up terrified,” he said.

He added that he never wanted to handle a gun again.

The athlete, 27, told the court about his difficult childhood after being born with parts of both legs missing and needing to wear prosthetic limbs.

After a recess, Mr Pistorius was asked whether he and his family had been exposed to criminal acts.

He said there had been many break-ins while he was growing up.

Mr Pistorius said he had been shot at on the highway and on another occasion was followed by a car into his gated community. He said he had his gun with him and the two men in the car had sped off.

Mr Pistorius said he was also attacked at a party in December 2012, and had to have stitches in the head.

As he detailed how important religion was to him, Mr Pistorius again became emotional and his counsel, Barry Roux, asked for an adjournment.

The prosecution said that as long as this was not a daily occurrence there would be no objection and the case will resume on Tuesday morning.

The BBC reports that the defence team has been trying to paint a picture of a man whose life has been peppered with tragedy, fear and vulnerability.

Pistorius Murder Trial Adjourned Until April 7

 South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police during his court appearance in PretoriaThe murder trial of South African Paralympic and Olympic track star, Oscar Pistorius, was adjourned on Friday until April 7.

At the resumption of the trial Pistorius is expected to take the stand in his own defence in a high-stakes bid to prove his innocence and avoid a possible life imprisonment.

Judge Thokozile Masipa postponed proceedings for more than a week due to the illness of one of the legal assistants who has been sitting at her side throughout the trial, one of the most high-profile in South African history.

Prosecutors took 15 days to lay out their case against the 27-year-old, arguing he deliberately killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year by firing four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through a closed toilet door.

Several neighbours testified to hearing a woman’s terrified screams before a volley of shots, countering Pistorius’ assertions that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the toilet cubicle in the middle of the night.

If found guilty of murder, Pistorius faces at least 25 years in prison.

Symbol Of Triumph

The trial has gripped South Africa and millions of athletics fans around the world who saw Pistorius as a symbol of triumph over physical adversity.

The sprinter’s lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to achieve global fame as the “fastest man on no legs,” winning gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.

He also won a battle against athletics authorities for the right to compete against able-bodied men, becoming the first amputee runner at an Olympics when he reached the 400 meters semi-finals in London 2012.

 

Oscar Pistorius Vomits During Trial

oscar_pistorius_AP150961250065_620x350 Oscar Pistorius vomited in court on Monday as he heard a pathologist’s testimony about the nature of his girlfriend’s injuries after he fatally shot her.

The repeated vomiting caused the judge to briefly delay the proceedings and ask the athlete’s lawyer to attend to his client.

Pathologist, Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on the body of Reeva Steenkamp told the court that his girlfriend was shot three times, in the head, hip and arm.

The judge had earlier banned live broadcast of the post-mortem examination testimony on Monday due to the gruesome content. Twitter messages and blogging were banned as well.

This was after the Pathologist had also successfully argued that broadcasting the details of the report could compromise the “dignity of the deceased”

The testimony included a description of bullet wounds Steenkamp suffered to her hand, hip, arm and head when Pistorius shot her through a locked bathroom door in his house the night of February 14, 2013.

Prosecutors accuse the amputee Olympian of murdering Steenkamp after an argument but Pistorius, who admitted shooting, says that he mistook her for an intruder.

The runner has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, recklessly discharging a firearm and illegally possessing ammunition.

Pistorius faces a life sentence if convicted of premeditated murder.

“Blade Runner” Pistorius Murder Trial Postponed Until August

A South African judge on Tuesday postponed until August 19 the murder trial of global athletics star Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.

Pistorius, 26, had to make his way through a scrum of photographers and reporters as he made his first formal public appearance since his release on bail in February.

The double amputee athlete, nicknamed “Blade Runner” for the prosthetics he uses in competition, has admitted shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, four times through a locked bathroom door on February 14 at his home in an affluent Pretoria community.

In pre-trial testimony, his lawyers told the court the shooting was a tragic mistake and Pistorius was acting in self-defense against what he thought was an intruder.

Prosecutors accuse him of premeditated murder for firing into the door, hitting Steenkamp in the head, hip and arm.

The judge postponed the case after the athlete’s lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

Pistorius was one of the stars of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London, carrying South Africa’s flag at the closing ceremonies for the Games.

His arrest and subsequent murder charge shocked millions around the world as he was seen as a symbol of triumph over adversity.

In South Africa, he was a hero for both black and white people, transcending the racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.

Pistorius has mostly kept out of the public eye since he secured bail. Media reported that in April he partied at a nightclub in a Johannesburg suburb after his bail conditions were relaxed the previous month.

The Pistorius camp said the matter was blown out of proportion and he went out for a quiet dinner with friends after spending weeks in the house with family.

South Africa does not have trial by jury so pre-trial media coverage is seldom deemed to be prejudicial.

Ousted Pistorius Detective Quits South African Police

The South African detective, pulled off the investigation of athletics star Oscar Pistorius for murder after it emerged he himself faces attempted murder charges, has resigned from the force, police said on Thursday.

Warrant Officer Hilton Botha, the first officer on the scene after the Valentine’s Day shooting of Pistorius’s girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, was also criticized for mixing up key facts about the investigation at the “Blade Runner’s” bail hearing.

“He handed in his resignation yesterday and it was accepted with immediate effect,” police spokesman Brigadier Neville Mlaali told Reuters. “We are not going into the details.”

Botha, a detective with 24 years experience, is accused of firing on a minibus taxi full of passengers in 2011 while pursuing a man accused of murdering a woman and disposing of her dismembered body down a drain, local media said.

The charges were withdrawn but reinstated on February 4, 10 days before Steenkamp was shot.

The incident has embarrassed the South African police who regularly come under fire for failing to reduce one of the highest crimes rates in the world and dispel perceptions of a force that is poorly trained.

Last week, eight policemen were arrested for tying a Mozambican taxi driver to the back of a vehicle and dragging him to the station. The video-recorded treatment of the man who later died shocked audiences around the world.

Nike Suspends Contract With Pistorius

American sportswear company Nike suspended its endorsement contract with South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Thursday after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend a week ago.

Nike has sponsored Pistorius since 2007, supplying him with running kit and special soles that he wears on the base of his carbon fiber racing blades.

“We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the company said in a statement, confirming the suspension of the agreement.

Nike, the world’s largest sportswear company, ended a long-standing sponsorship agreement with cyclist Lance Armstrong last year after he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles because of a doping scandal.

Nicknamed “Blade Runner”, double amputee Pistorius is the world’s highest profile Paralympian and also competed alongside able-bodied athletes in the London Olympics last year.

His sponsorship deals with companies including British telecoms firm, sunglasses maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler are believed to be worth around $2 million a year.

 

Unlicenced .38 Handgun Found In Pistorius Home – Police

A South African police investigator said on Wednesday he wants to charge global track star Oscar Pistorius with possession of illegal weapons after an unlicenced .38 handgun and ammunition were found in his home.

This was disclosed at a bail hearing for the Paralympic star.

Two containers of testosterone and needles were also discovered in his bedroom, a detective testifying at his murder bail hearing revealed.

Also at the hearing, South African prosecutors said that a witness heard “non-stop shouting” coming from his home shortly before he shot his girlfriend.