Pistorius 'in Tears' During Court Hearing

15 Feb 2013

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 Oscar Pistorius 


South African Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius wept in court as prosecutors said they would pursue a "premeditated murder" charge over the death of his girlfriend.

Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home near Pretoria on Thursday.

An application for bail was postponed until next Tuesday and Pistorius, 26, will remain in police custody, reports the BBC.

The athlete later said in a statement released by his agent that he disputed the charge in the "strongest terms".

The statement also said that "firstly, and most importantly, all our thoughts today must be with the family and friends of Reeva Steenkamp".

Dozens of reporters were in the courtroom in Pretoria on Friday, where chief magistrate Desmond Nair was presiding.

The BBC's Andrew Harding, at the scene, said the defendant cut a lonely figure, holding his head forward and breathing heavily through tears.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued for a "premeditated murder" charge. Pistorius slumped forward at the mention of the words.

Media access was discussed at the 40-minute session and the magistrate ruled that there should be no live recording of the bail hearings.

Pistorius's team had argued against such coverage and cited his "extremely traumatised state of mind".

Both prosecution and defence agreed Pistorius could remain in custody at a police station and not in prison.

Members of Pistorius's family, including sister Aimee, brother Carl and father Henke, were in the courtroom.

Relatives reached forward to touch Pistorius's shoulder as he stood and left the courtroom at the end of proceedings.

Pistorius had earlier arrived at court in the back of a police vehicle, hiding his face with a jacket and notebook.

Forensic experts are expected to continue examining the house in the Silver Lakes area on the outskirts of South Africa's administrative capital where Ms Steenkamp, 29, died.

Correspondents say the athlete's arrest has stunned the country where he is considered a national hero.

He made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.

Tags: OSCAR PISTORIUS, Paralympic, South African Olympic, News, Africa

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