Pistorius continues his bail fight
7:32am Friday 22nd February 2013 in © Press Association 2014
Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius will continue his fight for bail on the fourth day of a dramatic court hearing.
The Paralympian's defence team yesterday summed up their case arguing that the sports star, who said he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp because he thought she was a burglar, is too famous to flee bail. But the prosecution claim it was premeditated murder and that Pistorius, 26, "intended to kill".
On Thursday, in a dramatic twist, the lead investigator in the case against Pistorius was replaced after he was charged with seven counts of attempted murder. The charges against Hilton Botha relate to an incident in October 2011 and he is due to appear in court himself in May with two other police officers, accused of firing shots at a minibus which had seven people inside.
The case was previously dropped but he was charged yesterday, to the surprise of prosecutors in the Pistorius case. National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said Botha had been replaced by senior detective Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo, divisional commissioner of the detective service.
It came on the same day as the court was interrupted by a "threat" and sports giant Nike confirmed it has suspended its contract with the runner. In a statement, Nike said: "Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius. We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."
Pistorius has admitted shooting girlfriend Miss Steenkamp, 29, through the bathroom door, thinking she was a burglar. Realising his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs, he said.
The prosecution claim it was a premeditated murder, but his defence has argued there is no evidence to suggest the athlete's account of events is untrue. Defence lawyer Barry Roux said poor quality evidence by Botha had exposed disastrous shortcomings in the state's case.
He said he had been selective with what he said and determined to "bolster the state's case", but could not refute Pistorius's version of what happened.
Summing up the prosecution case, Gerrie Nel said the onus was not on the state, but on Pistorius, to prove he should be given bail. He asked if the Paralympian thought "I'm Oscar Pistorius, I'm a world renowned athlete, that in itself is special", was an argument for exceptional circumstances and said the star wanted to continue with his life "as if this incident never happened".
He said: "This total lack of insight and willingness to take responsibility for his deeds increases his flight risk."