March 6, 2014

Pistorius Murder Trial Enters Day 4

South Africa was stunned when the athlete shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
South Africa was stunned when the athlete shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp

The fourth day of the murder trial of South African Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius is to open in Pretoria.

The double amputee is accused of intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

Mr Pistorius, 27, denies this, saying he mistook the 29-year-old model for an intruder. If found guilty, he could face life imprisonment.

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.

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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