The Straits Times
Published on Feb 21, 2013

Pistorius lawyers challenge contradictory police claims


PRETORIA (AFP) - Lawyers for South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius poked holes in the prosecution's murder case against him on Wednesday, challenging flawed police work to boost the athlete's hopes of being released on bail.

The defence forced the lead police investigator to admit multiple police errors in the case, undermining earlier explosive claims that witnesses heard arguing, a woman screaming and gunfire at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day.

The 26-year-old Olympic athlete insists he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, 29, in a horrible accident and not intentionally, as the prosecution aims to prove.

Under cross-examination, investigating officer Hilton Botha was forced to admit that Pistorius's version of the early morning shooting last Thursday fitted the crime scene.