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Thu Mar 05 06:07:44 SAST 2015

Steenkamp death 'not even murder': Pistorius defence

Sapa | 19 February, 2013 10:44
Women protest outside the Pretoria Magistrates court, during the bail application hearing of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius.
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius started crying in court as his lawyer denied that the alleged murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was premeditated.

"We submit it's not even murder," advocate Barry Roux told the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

"There's no agreement there, not even concession that this is murder."

The State cannot prove that paralympian Oscar Pistorius knew his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was on the other side of the bathroom door when she was shot, his lawyer said in court on Tuesday.

Evidence would also be brought if needed, of men who had shot their wives or children thinking they were burglars, advocate Barry Roux said at Pistorius' bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Roux said he would also bring evidence of burglaries and robberies at security complexes, if necessary.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of Steenkamp at his home in the early hours of St Valentine's Day last week.

A teary-eyed Pistorius watched while Roux countered the State's indication at his first appearance on Friday that it intended arguing that Steenkamp's death was pre-meditated murder.

Pistorius, who was wearing a dark blue suit, lowered his eyes when argument started in his bail application, and broke down in tears when his lawyer started defending him.

He is charged with the murder of Steenkamp on Thursday.

Earlier, State prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the State's case was that her death was premeditated, and that it rejected that she may have been mistaken for a burglar when she was shot three times through a bathroom door.

"We say this in itself constitutes premeditated murder of a burglar," said Nel.

Earlier, Roux said Pistorius had no previous convictions and there were no other matters pending against him.

While this was taking place, the coffin of the model and law graduate was carried into the chapel at the Victoria Park Crematorium in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning for a private family service.

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