'Murder mystery' unsolved as Oscar Pistorius' bail plea hearing adjourned until Thursday

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 12:37

Zeenews Sports Bureau

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Brief Summary

And the murder mystery is still unsolved. The hearing has been extended to the third day. As the bail plea hearing resumed on Day 2, investigating officer Hilton Botha came up with a few claims against Pistorius, in connection with the statement read by his defence lawyer on Tuesday. Botha said that Pistorius knew it was his girlfriend inside the bathroom and he intentionally shot her.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux once again dictated the proceedings as he came up with rebuttals to counter-attack those claims.

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# Nair finally says that the hearing is adjourned until Thursday at 11am for argument by state and defence.

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# Nair, the magistrate, asks Botha whether if he fears Pistorius might flee from South Africa putting his international recognition at stake? Botha replies it is possible because he faces a jail term.

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# Botha says that even in the previous incident, he was the investigating officer but the matter didn’t go further as the matter was withdrawn.

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# Pistorius is looking more calm as his legal team is strengthening their grip over the case.

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# Nel asks Botha to rethink about how far was Pistorius' house from the witness's and was it really 600m? Botha in reply says it was about 300m. Botha then says in the past there had been an incident at Pistorius' house where the paralympian star had been arrested.

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# Raux disapproves the fact that Pistorius has a house in Italy, where he could take refuge after being granted the bail. He also said that the witness’ statements are incorrect as they claimed to hear seven gun shots whereas there were only four. Plus there were no houses within 600 metres of Pistorius’ house which makes it really difficult to hear the sounds of altercations which were claimed by the witnesses.
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# They now move to the 38mm gun found at Pistorius’ house. He says that the ammunition that Botha termed as unlicensed actually belongs to Pistorius’ father. He further argues the investigators’ claim that his client was wearing his prosthetic legs while shooting. He reveals that a forensic expert found a spent bullet inside the toilet bowl. He also says that nothing happened during that night when shooting occurred that can led one to believe that Pistorius’ actions were premeditated.
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# Proceedings resume. Botha still under cross-examination. The defence asks whether Botha considers Pistorius to be a flight risk. Botha replies in positive. Botha reveals he didn’t oppose the bail at first but changed his mind at a later stage. ====================================================================================

# The court has been adjourned for lunch.
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# Roux accuses Botha of bias investigation. He says Steenkamp’s autopsy didn’t show any signs of wounds. He further interrogates him whether he found anything at the crime scene that would have been inconsistent with Pistorius’ version of events. Botha says no. He asks him whether he happened to found any information that would have indicated that Pistorius and Steevkamp were having troubles in their relationship. Botha replies in negative but says the investigations are still going on.
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# Now the question why Reeva locked the toilet from inside. Roux says that Steenkamp might have locked the toilet after Pistorius shouted about the presence of an intruder in the house. Botha concedes to have acted in the same manner had he been in the position of Ms Steenkamp.
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# Post mortem: Botha accepts the fact that Reeva Steenkamp’s bladder was found to be empty. Defence says that it is consistent with someone getting up at 3 to empty their bladder. Roux says that Pistorius would have felt vulnerable without his prosthetic legs. Botha agrees.
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# The defence is now cross-examining Botha. A number of accounts like the angle of shot, the distance from where the shot was fired etc. are being countered. The drugs found in Pistorius’ house have been termed as herbal remedy. Roux says it isn’t a banned substance and says that Botha should have examined the substance before making any claims. Botha in turn reveals that testosterone is still being tested and conceded that he didn’t know its name.
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# Botha claims to have a statement from a former football player that reveals that Pistorius had threatened to break his legs.
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#Botha says there is now way he believes that Pistorius fired the shots in self-defence. He believes that Pistorius was aware of the presence of Steenkamp in the toilet and he fired the shots to kill his girlfriend.
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#Botha currently explaining the details of how the shot might have been fired and from where. He further says they have doubts over Pistorius’ claim that he fired the shot without his prosthetic legs. He says that the ballistics are currently dealing with the angles of the shot
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#Magistrate Nair has asked for a sketch of the Pistorius’ house plan for a better grasp of the evidence. The court has been adjourned for around 30 minutes as the projector is being set up.
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#Botha says shots were fired through the door and Reeva was hit by the bullets on her right arm, right hip and on the right side of the hip. He says they think that Oscar used bat to break the toilet door to gain entry. He also reveals that they found unlicensed pistol in the safe of his bedroom. They also found two iPhones and two Blackberrys in the bedroom. The shots were aimed at the toilet bowl.
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#Hilton Botha is giving evidence. Says: He arrived at the scene and found Steenkamp’s body lying at the bottom of the stairs. He says they are opposing his bail because Pistorius is a “flight risk” which means that he might flee the country to avoid being arrested. He reveals that Pistorius has offshore accounts and a house in Italy.
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#Nel says that they have a witness who heard non-stop shouting coming from the house of Pistorius in the wee hours of the morning before he shot his girlfriend.
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#The proceedings have started. Desmond Nair has entered the court and reveals that the delay was due to problems in making media arrangements. Prosecution says (Gerrie Nel) that the state isn’t obliged to provide any information as was requested by the defence lawyer Barry Roux on Tuesday still they are going to furnish more details than necessary.
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#Pistorius’ father and brother are present in the court. They are seated in front row.
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#Oscar Pistorius has arrived at the court. The start of the proceedings has been delayed a bit .
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Wednesday is the second and in all probability the final day of Oscar Pistorius’ bail plea hearing in Pretoria Magistrate Court in South Africa.
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The Paralympian is under arrest for the alleged murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a charge he vehemently denies saying he mistook her for an intruder. On Tuesday the prosecutor and his lawyer debated whether Pistorius should be charged under a bailable offence or not. He broke down on several occasions during the proceedings.

Pistorius’ in a statement on Tuesday said that he is willing to surrender his passports in case if it is a condition of bail. However, Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled that Pistorius case is Schedule Six. In other words, it is very unlikely that the defendant will be granted bail. He has been charged with `premeditated murder.` The court will reconsider degrading the seriousness of the crime but the defence need to come up with strong evidence for that to happen.



First Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 19:37

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