Pistorius' bail ruling postponed again

Last Updated 21 February 2013, 06:30 IST

The second day of paralympian Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing ended without a court ruling on his application.

Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled Wednesday that Pistorius would remain in custody again at the Brooklyn police station holding cells until Thursday. That will be Pistorius' seventh night in police cells since he was arrested Feb 14, reports Xinhua.

During Wednesday's hearing, investigating officer Hilton Botha testified that Pistorius knew he was firing at his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp the night she was killed in his house.

"I believe he knew she was in the bathroom and he shot four shots in the bathroom and killed her," Botha told the court.

In an affidavit Tuesday, Pistorius said he thought he was firing shots at an intruder in the bathroom in his Pretoria home. Pistorius is charged with premeditatedly murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a crime for which bail is granted under exceptional circumstances. But the double amputee denies the charge "in the strongest terms".

Botha also testified that they have found a box of the male hormone testosterone and hypodermic needles at Pistorius's home. But Pistorius's defence lawyer Barry Roux said the testosterone was a herbal remedy and was not banned.

Roux accused the police of contaminating the scene while investigating the shooting without protected shoe covers.

Botha said he should have worn them, "but they were not around".

The court also heard a witness statement that said there was non-stop fighting at Pistorius's home on the morning when Steenkamp was shot dead.

Roux said witnesses could not say if it was Pistorius who was heard arguing and one of the residents who gave a statement about screaming lived 600 metres away.
It was only Pistorius who was screaming the night he shot Steenkamp, Roux said.
Botha said police still needed to measure the distance.

Asked whether he opposed bail for Pistorius, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel said: "Yes, because he is a flight risk".

Pistorius was suspected of having a house in Italy. Prosecutors fear that once granted bail, he could escape.

Roux denied that Pistorius had a house in Italy but admitted that he had a bank account in Carolina, in the US.

(Published 21 February 2013, 06:30 IST)

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