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Pistorius put on prosthetic legs before firing: Prosecutors

Published on Feb 19, 2013 4:57 PM
 
South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police at a Pretoria police station on Feb 14, 2013. Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven metres to a bathroom in his luxury Pretoria home and then opened fire on his girlfriend, who was behind a bathroom door, a prosecutor told a Pretoria court on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PRETORIA (REUTERS, AFP) - Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven metres to a bathroom in his luxury Pretoria home and then opened fire on his girlfriend, who was behind a bathroom door, a prosecutor told a Pretoria court on Tuesday.

Pistorius early broke down in tears at the hearing as he was accused of shooting Reeva Steenkamp in what prosecutors said was a "premeditated" Valentine's Day murder.

The double-amputee Olympian and Paralympian "Blade Runner" is seeking bail at the hearing which is expected to reveal more about what happened the night his covergirl law graduate lover Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the Pretoria magistrate's court that Pistorius' moves before he fired the shots showed premeditation on the part of the star athlete.

The 26-year-old defendant, making his second court appearance over the killing, appeared in the dock in a black suit, blue shirt and grey tie and stared straight ahead anxiously, sometimes mumbling under his breath.

Steenkamp, 29, who was shot four times in the early hours of Thursday by a 9mm pistol owned by the sprinter, is due to be laid to rest at a private ceremony in her hometown of Port Elizabeth later Tuesday.

Pistorius's family has insisted that the evidence will refute "any possibility of a premeditated murder or indeed any murder at all".

Defence lawyers are expected to argue that there are "exceptional circumstances" for Pistorius to be freed pending trial.

The state has said it would oppose bail.

Both sides have called in heavyweight lawyers, setting the scene for a massive legal showdown.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested Pistorius mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, while other reports said she was beaten with a cricket bat before being shot multiple times.

 

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