Oscar Pistorius lawyer contests testosterone and screaming claims
Claim and counter-claim is abound in a South African court today at the bail hearing of murder-accused athlete Oscar Pistorius.
Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa, last Thursday.
The magistrate has deemed this a schedule six case - meaning Pistorius is accused of premeditated murder.
Pistorius, 26, yesterday told the court in Pretoria he shot Steenkamp through a bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder. "I had no intention to kill my girlfriend," he said.
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Investigator Hilton Botha this morning said he opposed the granting of bail. "The accused could be a flight risk. It's a serious crime, a serious matter," he said.
Today is the second day of the athlete's bail hearing.
Botha today put before the court a number of claims. He said a female witness heard an argument between two people between 2am and 3am on the night in question. Steenkamp was shot around 3am.
However, cross-examining him, defence lawyer Barry Roux claimed the witness who said she heard an argument lives in a house 600m from Pistorius’s.
The news was met with audible gasps in the courtroom, the BBC reports.
Roux also said the witness could not say if the voices she heard belonged to Pistorius and Steenkamp. Botha admitted that was correct.
Botha also claimed Pistorius knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom when he shot through the door and killed her. He did not believe the athlete's story he was trying to protect himself and his girlfriend from a presumed burglar.
He said Pistorius fired at an angle into the toilet door, and Steenkamp's wounds suggested she was not on the toilet at the time. The toilet room is inside the bathroom.
Defence lawyer Roux later said there is no substance a deliberate shot was fired to the toilet door from an angle - the investigator agreed.
The inspector also said Pistorius would have had to go past his bed to walk from the balcony to the bathroom, suggesting he would have noticed whether or not Steenkamp was in bed.
He claimed two bottles of testosterone and needles were found at Pistorius’s house, but the athlete's lawyer Roux said it was not testosterone Botha had found at the house, but a herbal remedy.
"It's not a steroid and it's not a banned substance,” Roux said. Botha admitted he did not know the name of the medication, saying he “didn’t read the whole name”.
Botha also said Pistorius had never made complaints to police about violence or death threats against him, although the athlete yesterday said he had suffered from crime and death threats.
Cross-examining Botha, Roux said Steenkamp’s bladder was empty when she died, indicating she had indeed got up to use the toilet.
Roux said Steenkamp’s autopsy showed no sign of defensive wounds or an assault. Botha said that was correct.
Roux also said Steenkamp might have locked the toilet door to protect herself when she heard Pistorius shouting there was a burglar.
In a statement read out in court yesterday Pistorius, who denies murder, said on the night of the shooting he awoke to a sound in the bathroom believing it was an intruder and felt a sense of terror.
He said he didn't realise Steenkamp was not in bed and shot at the door, feeling vulnerable without his prosthetics.
He said he used a cricket bat to break open the bathroom door where she was slumped over the toilet.
He said she was still alive and he called the paramedics before she died in his arms.