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Pistorius gets emotional at graphic evidence

March 04, 2014 23:40 IST

Pistorius gets emotional at graphic evidence

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Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands and wiped away tears after a South African court on Tuesday heard grisly details of the killing of his girlfriend, the first sign of emotion from the track star in his two-day murder trial.

The Olympian and Paralympian has been largely impassive during the trial for the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp in his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius has pled not guilty, saying he shot Steenkamp through a toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder.


Image: Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp,
Photographs: Herman Verwey/Pool/Reuters

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Pistorius appeared to wipe away tears

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He leaned forward in the dock and clasped his head between his hands as lead defence lawyer Barry Roux read out details from the post mortem, including that "some fragments of the bullet" were removed from the 29-year-old's head.

Roux also heaped scorn on the testimony of neighbour Michelle Burger, who said she heard a scream fade away after the shots, saying that Steenkamp would have "dropped immediately" due to a bullet in the head.

Steenkamp was declared dead at the scene after being hit in the head, arm and hip from three bullets from a 9 mm pistol.

Pistorius, dressed a dark suit and tie, later appeared to wipe away tears.


Image: Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius embraces his sister Aimee Pistorius
Photographs: Antoine de Ras/Pool /Reuters

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Could be jailed for life

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The trial, which could see one of global sports' most admired figures jailed for life, has drawn comparisons with the high-profile murder trial of American football star and actor O.J. Simpson two decades ago.

Burger broke toward the end of her own testimony, following an angry exchange with Roux, who had sought to show she had mistaken the screams of agitated Pistorius for that of a woman.

The court also heard from a another neighbour, Estelle van der Merwe, who testified that she heard what sounded like an argument early on the morning Steenkamp was killed.

"From where I was sitting it seemed like two people were having an argument but I couldn't hear the other person's voice," she said through an Afrikaans language interpreter.


Image: Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (C) leaves after his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria
Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Pool /Reuters

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