Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Africa

Judge to decide on Pistorius bail as hearing ends

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-22

A judge is set to rule on Friday whether to grant bail to paralympian Oscar Pistorius, charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Prosecutors say he is a cold-blooded killer while his own lawyers claim the shooting was accidental.

The defence and prosecution both completed their arguments Friday morning in Oscar Pistorius’s bail hearing, with the magistrate soon to rule if the double-amputee athlete can be freed or if he must stay behind bars pending trial in the Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend.

The star sprinter, known as "blade runner", entered the court building on Friday morning with his head covered by a jacket.

Defence lawyers for Pistorius say the athlete shot dead his girlfriend only by terrible mistake, and deserves bail to prepare for a case that has garnered global attention and has been marred by a bungled police investigation.

The Olympic champion, whose lower legs were amputated in infancy, has become an even more globally recognised figure since he killed model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day at his home.

Prosecutors have told the court it was a premeditated murder, with Pistorius firing four shots through a locked toilet door at a cowering Steenkamp on the other side. She was hit in the head, arm and hip.

'We were deeply in love.'

Witnesses said they heard gunshots and screams comingfrom the home in a gated community surrounded by three-metre-high stone walls and topped with an electric fence.

Blind panic

Pistorius contends he was acting in self-defence, mistaking Steenkamp for an intruder and feeling vulnerable because he was unable to attach his prosthetic limbs in time to confront the threat, he said in an affidavit read in court.

The 26-year-old said he grabbed a 9-mm pistol from under his bed and went into the bathroom.

Pistorius described how he fired into the locked toilet door in a blind panic in the mistaken belief that the intruder was lurking inside.

Bail hearings in South Africa allow for prosecutors and defence lawyers to lay out their basic arguments, based on preliminary evidence.

The arrest of Pistorius stunned millions who watched in awe last year as the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter reached the semi-final of the 400 m in the London Olympics.

The impact has been greatest in sports-mad South Africa, where Pistorius was seen as a rare hero who commanded respect from both blacks and whites, transcending the racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.

Police investigating Pistorius pulled their lead detective off the athlete’s case on Thursday after it emerged he himself faces attempted murder charges for shooting at a minibus.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-02-22

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    Top South African detective takes over Pistorius case

    Read more

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    Pistorius witness ‘heard screams night of killing'

    Read more

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    Pistorius sobs as grisly shooting details emerge

    Read more

COMMENT(S)