Pistorius had ‘no intention’ to kill girlfriend Steenkamp



AGENCIES

Published — Wednesday 20 February 2013

Last update 19 February 2013 11:01 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

PRETORIA: South African sporting hero Oscar Pistorius insisted yesterday he did not intend to kill his girlfriend after being accused of shooting her repeatedly through a locked bathroom door in what prosecutors said was a “premeditated” Valentine’s Day murder.
“I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp,” the 26-year-old said in an affidavit read out at a court hearing in Pretoria, his first public comments since the Feb. 14 killing.
Magistrate Desmond Nair hinted strongly that the double-amputee Olympian and Paralympian “Blade Runner” would not be released on bail and could face a charge of premeditated murder.
The bail hearing has been adjourned to Wednesday to allow the prosecution time to study affidavits submitted by the defense.
But Pistorius said he fired at the door of the bathroom where his 29-year-old lover was hiding as he was “filled with horrible fear” that someone had sneaked into his luxury Pretoria home through an open window. “I fired shots at the door and shouted at the toilet,” he said in the affidavit. “We were deeply in love and couldn’t be more happy.” Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had told the court Pistorius had armed himself, put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven meters and fired four shots through the locked bathroom door, hitting a terrified Steenkamp three times and fatally wounding her.
“She could go nowhere,” he said, adding that Pistorius had “shot and killed an unarmed innocent woman.”
He said law graduate and model Steenkamp had arrived at Pistorius’s home on Wednesday evening with an overnight bag, seeking to counter claims that the athlete had mistaken her for an intruder. As the court hearing was under way in the South African capital, Steenkamp was being laid to rest at an emotional private ceremony at a crematorium in her hometown of Port Elizabeth.
Pistorius’ career has been put on hold since the shooting, forcing him to cancel races in Australia, Brazil, Britain and the United States between March and May.
Pistorius’s heavyweight legal team rejected claims that the killing was premeditated. “We submit it’s not even a murder. There’s no concession that it’s murder,” said lawyer Barry Roux.
Roux challenged the claim that Pistorius put on his prostheses before shooting and argued the runner believed the person in the bathroom was an intruder. “I will put before court case after case where husbands through accident shot wives... believing it was an intruder,” said Roux. “Is that now preplanned murder?” Roux also claimed Pistorius had broken down the door to help Steenkamp, who had been going out with the athlete since late last year.
Magistrate Nair said he could not rule out that there was some planning involved in the killing, which may be considered as a premeditated murder for the purposes of bail. In Port Elizabeth, tearful friends and family said goodbye to Steenkamp, whose cloth-draped coffin with white flowers laid on top was carried into a chapel in the southeastern coastal city where she grew up.
“It’s kind of only sinking in now that I’m actually here, that she’s really gone,” said Bongiwe Gaxambaa, one of Steenkamp’s classmates at a local private Catholic school. A funeral program simply entitled “Reeva,” with the dates of her birth and death on it, showed a black-and-white portrait of Steenkamp with the words “God’s Gift, A Child” written on the back.
“There’s a space missing inside all of the people that she knew that can’t be filled again,” her brother Adam, who gave the eulogy, told reporters after the ceremony.
“We’ll miss her.”

On Saturday a celebrity television show aired haunting footage of Steenkamp speaking about the need to leave a positive mark on life, words laden with poignancy after her death.
Pistorius, who off the track has a rocky private life of rash behavior, beautiful women, guns and fast cars, has built up a powerful team of lawyers, medical specialists and public relations experts for his defense.
Stuart Higgins, a former editor of British tabloid The Sun, whose lengthy list of clients includes British Airways, Chelsea FC and Manchester United football club, has taken over his public relations.
One of his lawyers, Kenny Oldwage, defended the driver in a 2010 accident that killed former president Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchild Zenani. The driver was acquitted.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Kingdom and Namibia have signed a protocol to establish diplomatic relations between them.According to SPA, the protocol was signed on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Abdullah Al-Mouallimi and his...
JEDDAH: Official reports reveal nationalization levels of medical and health workers in the Kingdom remain low, with Saudi nationals making up only 21.7 percent of physicians, 31.8 percent of nurses, and 67.4 percent of ancillary staff.According to t...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) will begin receiving clearance applications for medicines and medical supplies, including drugs containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, for Haj missions or other government bodies on Saturday....
JEDDAH: Saudi importers of cattle said the Haj season this year will not see an increase in the price of livestock due to the stability of the local market and the available supply.There are also guarantees from exporting countries that required quan...
JEDDAH: At the upcoming elections the national identity card will be the only approved document used for identifying voters of both genders and allowing voters to exercise their electoral right, provided all statutory requirements are met.In a press...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil has spoken of a new education policy which emphasizes the importance of harmonizing admission policies in universities with the needs of the labor market.Al-Dakhil made these remarks during a meeting with un...
JEDDAH: Local bottled water consumption during the summer, Umrah and Haj seasons this year will increase by 10 percent.“This translates into an annual growth rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent,” Rashed Bin-Zouma, a water industry expert, was qu...
RIYADH: Four Saudi secondary students including a young woman from the Eastern Province have received prestigious medals at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which concluded in Azerbaijan last week.The winners of the four bronze medal...
JEDDAH: The UAE’s decision to lift fuel subsidies beginning in August has raised the possibility of other Gulf states following suit.Economists suggest a wide disparity of prices of gasoline in the Gulf countries will lead to more petrol smuggling op...
DAMMAM: The tourism industry in the Kingdom is witnessing great interest by authorities to develop the archaeological areas, promote their support services and create the best environment for tourism products, said businessman Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair....
JEDDAH: The ongoing World Circus at north Obhur has brought smiles on the faces of orphans, with its show of acrobats featuring 20 performers and clowns.The orphans of Al-Rawdah district charitable organization said they found the circus entertaining...
RIYADH: The Nepalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udayaraj Pandey, thanked the Kingdom on Thursday as he ends his four-year tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.Earlier in the day, he called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to pay him a courtesy call a...
RIYADH: Movies produced by young and amateur Saudi filmmakers will be shown on Saudi Television starting in the middle of next week.“The films will be shown daily to encourage young Saudi filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Eid, senior broadcaster a...
RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) and Taqnia Energy to launch the first standalone 50MW solar power station at Al-Aflaj.KACST also...
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...

Stay Connected

Facebook