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Bail hearing of Pistorius resumes

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 10:10 hrs

Pretoria, Feb 20 (IANS) The bail hearing of murder-accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius resumed at the Pretoria Magistrate Court Wednesday with a large media contingent scrambling to get inside.

Accompanied by police, a sombre-looking Pistorius entered the building through the front entrance with a blue towel covering his head. Pistorius has been kept at the Brooklyn police station since his arrest Thursday for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home here, reports Xinhua.

As the order to keep him at the police station expires Wednesday, the next place where he will be kept remains unknown. His lawyers would ask the court to continue keeping him at police holding cells instead of prison.

At Tuesday's hearing, prosecutors said investigators have found no evidence to support Pistorius' version that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar. It was a premeditated murder for which bail is granted under exceptional circumstances, State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

In his affidavit, Pistorius denied the murder allegation "in the strongest terms".

"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way. She had given me a present for Valentine's Day but asked me only to open it the next day," the affidavit says.

"I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes with a view to commit crime, including violent crime. I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglary before," he said in the affidavit.

"For that reason, I kept my firearm, a 9mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night. During the early hours of 14 February 2013, I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and close the sliding door, the blinds and the curtains. I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom. I felt a sense of terror rushing over me."

Pistorius said he grabbed his 9mm pistol from underneath the bed. On his way to the bathroom, he screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of his house and for Reeva to phone the police.

"I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva," he said.




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