Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has strongly rejected the charge that he murdered his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius wept in court as he was given the charge of premeditated murder by his prosecutors. It is set to be one of the most watched murder cases in recent memory as Pistorius is widely regarded as a hero in South Africa especially and across the world.
Steenkamp, 29, was found shot dead at Pistorius’ home near Pretoria on Valentine’s Day. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued for “premeditated murder”; Pistorius was aghast at the charge. Prosecution and defence both argued for Pistorius to remain in custody at a police station rather than prison. Application for bail has been postponed till next Tuesday. Pistorius has only in recent moments responded to the news allegations for the first time.
“The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms”, a statement from his family and management company said. “Our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family – regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy”.
Dozens of reporters were witness to the hearing. Media access was discussed by the chief magistrate, Desmond Nair, said live recording at the bail hearings will be prohibited. Pistorius’ team argued that his “extremely traumatised state of mind” made such media intrusion a bad idea.
Forensic scientists are continuing their examination of the crime scene – Pistorius’ house in the Silver Lakes area of Pretoria. South Africa is reportedly stunned by this story, but the results of a post-mortem won’t be revealed to the public.
Pistorius and Steenkamp had reportedly been dating since November.