South Africa wraps up 1st week of Pistorius trial
PRETORIA, March 7 (Xinhua/ Sun) -- The first week's trial of South Africa's Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius concluded on Friday at North Gauteng High Court here with revelations, accusations and counter accusations.
He is charged with murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the evening of Valentine's Day last year. He denied this, saying he shot Steenkamp as he mistook her for an intruder.
Medical doctor Johan Stipp, one of the first people arriving at Pistorius's house after the shooting, testified Pistorius said "I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her."
Stipp said that after hearing a woman screaming, then gunshots and a man screaming, he went to the murder scene and found Pistorius kneel beside the shot girlfriend and try to resuscitate her. He added that he was afraid Pistorius would kill himself as he was traumatized and crying.
Charl Johnson, who stays about 177m from Oscar's house, testified that he heard a woman's screams on the night of the shooting, saying they "did not sound like fighting, more like panic and distress."
Pieter Baba, a security guard at the complex where the murder happened, said he had called Pistorius's house after hearing gunshots and was told that everything was fine by him.
Pistorius's ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testified that he kept a gun under the bed when they were dating, saying that he once shot through the car roof after being stopped by a policeman for speeding and shouted at the policeman.
Pistorius is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and reckless discharging of a firearm in public.
The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, has attracted massive media attention, with a special TV channel being set aside. It will resume next Monday.
Pistorius was born with deformed feet and without fibula bones in his legs. After both legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, he overcame many obstacles to win a clutch of medals at the Paralympics.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to participate alongside able-bodied athletes in the men's 400 meters and 4x400 meters relay races.
He has been a poster hero for several companies, including Nike, Oakley, BT and Thierry Mugler. At the time of the shooting he was earning an average of 2 million U.S. dollars a year.