Oscar Pistorius lawyer presses witness over ‘screams’

March 6th, 2014 by Staff

The murder trial of South African Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius has resumed for a fourth day in Pretoria.

His defence lawyer is cross-examining witnesses who say they heard screaming on the night in February 2013 when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The double amputee denies intentionally killing her, saying he mistook the 29-year-old model for an intruder.

If found guilty, the 27-year-old could face life imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said that two neighbours, Michell Burger and Charl Johnson, had discussed their testimony with each other and amended the rough notes they had made a few days after the shooting.

“Your interpretation [of events] is designed to incriminate the accused and it’s unfortunate,” Mr Roux said.

Mr Johnson denied this.

On Wednesday, a witness said the athlete was responsible for a weapon being fired at a restaurant last year.

Boxer Kevin Lerena told the court Mr Pistorius had asked the owner of the gun to take the blame after the incident in January 2013.

Mr Pistorius also faces charges of illegally possessing ammunition, which he denies.

Ms Steenkamp, a model and reality TV star, was shot dead in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year at Mr Pistorius’s home in Pretoria.

The arrest of a national sporting hero, who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed at the Olympics, astounded South Africa.

There are no juries at trials in South Africa, and his fate will ultimately be decided by Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Much of the case will depend on ballistic evidence from the scene of the shooting, correspondents say.

 


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