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Tue Oct 21 04:17:16 SAST 2014

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial Day 2

TimesLIVE, Tymon Smith, Graeme Hosken and Sapa | 04 March, 2014 09:26

All the news from the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Day 2 in one place.

WITNESS 'FELT OBLIGED' - Sapa

The couple who heard a woman screaming the night Oscar Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp felt morally obliged to come forward, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"We initially did not want to get involved," IT project manager Charl Johnson said to questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

As he and his wife Michelle Burger were driving to Mpumalanga on February 22 last year, they heard Oscar Pistorius's bail application on the radio.

They realised the paralympic athlete's version of the early morning hours of February 14 differed from their own experience.

They contacted a lawyer friend, and a few days later police Captain Mike van Aardt came to their home to take their statements.

The couple's townhouse, in the Silver Stream Estate, is 177m from Pistorius's in the neighbouring Silver Woods Country Estate.

The court adjourned at 3pm.

Unlike on Monday, Pistorius's family were not in a hurry to leave the court.

Pistorius seemed more at ease, looking at the public gallery and talking to two police officers with his sister Aimee.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a toilet door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition, he is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a firearm in public.

Pistorius contends he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the toilet door.

COUPLE TRIED TO CALL FOR HELP - Sapa

A couple who tried to call security officials shortly before Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead called the wrong number, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

This was the testimony of Charl Johnson, who lives with his wife Michelle Burger in a complex next to Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria, where Oscar Pretorius shot dead his girlfriend.

They wanted to alert security about what sounded like an attack.

Johnson was testifying in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

Johnson said he realised they had not called the security of Silver Stream Estate but had called the complex they had previously lived at.

"I then went back to the balcony and I heard the woman's scream. The intensity and fear escalated and that's when the first shots were fired," said Johnson.

He said the last scream came after the last gunshot was fired.

Quizzed on how many shots he heard, Johnson said he initially thought five or six shots.

"I subsequently learned it was four," he said.

A few hours later, they found out the commotion had come from Pistorius's home, he said.

Johnson said he and his wife had thought people were being held up at their home.

Burger earlier concluded her testimony in court.

As Johnson continued to testify, Pistorius tapped the back of the bench that was in front of him, wanting to get the attention of his legal team.

He handed them a piece of paper.

A few moments later, his lawyer Barry Roux stood up, and requested that the judge order the witness to speak louder.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition he is charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Pistorius's lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the bathroom door.

WOMAN, THEN MAN CALLED FOR HELP - Sapa

A woman's cries for help were followed by a man shouting for help on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"I stood on the balcony and heard a woman shouting for help, then a man shouting help, help, help," Charl Johnson said in questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

He testified that he woke up in the early hours of February 14 last year to a woman screaming.

He got up and went to the balcony 10m from his bed. As he stood there he heard more screaming.

"I could hear she was in trouble... clearly distressed calls."

The tall, slender man, smartly dressed in a suit, initially had to be asked to speak up several times as he began his testimony.

Johnson, an IT project manager, is married to Michelle Burger, the first witness to testify in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.

Their townhouse in the Silver Stream Estate is 177m from Pistorius's in the neighbouring Silver Woods Country Estate.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a toilet door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition he is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a firearm in public. Pistorius contends he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the toilet door.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Johnson reiterates that he was not present when his wife made her statement nor she when he made his that's the end of day 2

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Johnson - we wanted to remain out of the public eye and so didn't make a statement at a police station

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Johnson went on Google Earth and used it to measure the distance between his house and Oscar's #techie

THIRD WITNESS TAKES STAND IN OSCAR TRIAL - Sapa

Charl Johnson Burger, husband of the first witness to testify in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, took the stand in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

He and his wife Michelle live in the Silver Stream Estate in Pretoria --next to Silver Woods where Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.

The soft-spoken IT project manager wore a suit and tie and took a good swig of bottled water before prosecutor Gerrie Nel launched into questioning.

His wife has already testified that she heard anxious cries, four shots and a scream in the early hours of February 14 last year, when Steenkamp was shot dead.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty, saying he thought there was an intruder in the home when he accidentally shot Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle.

Johnson's testimony was not televised, and the court ordered that no photographs of him may be published.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius very difficult to hear Johnson but he maintains same sequence of events re screams and shots as his wife did.

SECOND WITNESS STEPS DOWN - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer on Tuesday promptly completed the cross-examination of the second witness in the trial in the High Court in Pretoria.

Estelle van der Merwe, who lives at the same Silver Woods Country Estate as Pistorius, said she heard what sounded like arguments coming from one of her neighbours.

She did not immediately associate the shooting with argument.

"I didn't know where the shots came from," said Van der Merwe.

She said that after the shots, her husband went to investigate through the window and they heard the voice of someone crying.

"My husband said it was Oscar that was crying," said Van der Merwe.

She said she could not recall all the occurrences of that evening.

"This incident happened over a year ago so I can't recall everything," said Van der Merwe.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after shooting her dead through a locked bathroom door at his home.

He said he had mistaken her for an intruder.

The third witness, Charl Johnson, then took the stand.

His wife, Michelle Burger, was the first witness.

SECOND STATE WITNESS TELLS OF FIGHT - Sapa

A second State witness in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday told the court she heard loud voices from his home the night he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp.

Like the State's first witness, Estelle van der Merwe lived close to Pistorius and her testimony also appeared to contradict the athlete's statement that it was "unfair and incorrect" to suggest that he had a row with his girlfriend before she died.

Taking the stand just before lunch on day two of the sensational trial, Van der Merwe told the High Court in Pretoria she was kept from sleep around 2am by what sounded like people fighting.

"It lasted for about an hour," said Van der Merwe said, testifying in Afrikaans through a translator.

Van der Merwe lives in the Silver Wood Country Estate, the same complex where Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door on February 14 -- according to his defence because he mistook her for an intruder.

She lived about three houses away from the one where Steenkamp was shot.

Earlier, the first witness, Michelle Burger, was grilled for a second day by Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, who tried to cast doubt on her credibility and find contradictions between her written statement to the police and her testimony on the stand.

Burger testified that she heard a woman's piercing cries for help, followed by a man calling for help, before four gunshots rang out.

Like he did on Monday, Roux contended that Pistorius's voice rose when he was anxious and that hence he sounded like a woman when he screamed.

He put it to Burger that she only heard one person -- the accused -- cry out before the shooting, but that she was too biased against him to make the slightest concession.

But Burger, an economics lecturer, firmly stuck to her version of events,

"My statement is a few pages long. I've been testifying for hours and I can explain the minute details to the court," she said.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel at one point objected to Roux's relentless questioning, saying he was badgering Burger.

Shortly afterwards, Roux told the court Steenkamp would have been too severely injured to scream on the fateful morning of February 14 last year.

"There was serious, serious, brain damage," said Roux.

"It could not have been. She could not have screamed."

At this, Pistorius broke down for the first time since pleading not guilty to premeditated murder on Monday. He held his head in his hands and cried, and A woman sitting with his family in the public gallery handed him a tissue.

Burger broke down too later, when Nel resumed questioning and asked her how she felt last February when she made her statement to police after the shooting.

"What were your emotions at the time of making the statement?" he asked.

"Raw emotion," she replied, her voice breaking as she began to cry, reaching for her purse to get a tissue.

She said that for a while after the shooting she had relived Reeva Steenkamp's screams whenever she took a shower.

Shortly before, Nel had asked her if it would have been possible for a cricket bat to make rapid bangs in succession when striking a door.

Burger said no. Pistorius broke down the door of his toilet with a cricket bat after he shot Steenkamp through it.

Roux had suggested Burger confused the sound of the cricket bat striking the door with shots.

He cross-examined the second witness when the trial resumed on Tuesday afternoon.

COURT RESUMES WITH NO OSCAR - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's murder trial resumed after the lunch break on Tuesday but he was not in court immediately.

His lawyer Barry Roux apologised and said: "Sometimes it is blocked by the media", with reference to court entrances.

He arrived two minutes later, carrying his briefcase. He stood, bowed and said: "Sorry."

Judge Thokozile Masipa said: "It's fine, take a seat."

Testimony continued from Estelle van der Merwe, a neighbour at Silver Woods Estate in Pretoria where Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead on February 14 2013.

Emotions run high during Pistorius trial - Tymon Smith

Oscar Pistorius leant forward with his head in his hands and shed tears while parts of the ballistic evidence were read out during the cross-examination of his neighbour Michelle Burger.

Pistorius's advocate Barry Roux was arguing that the damage inflicted by gunshots to his dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp would have caused brain damage, making it impossible for her to have cried out after the shots, as Burger had testified.

Roux put it to Burger that she was the kind of witness who was unwilling to make concessions because they might help his client.

During follow-up questioning from state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Burger broke down in tears as she recalled the effect that hearing a woman's screams on the night of February 14 2013 had on her.

An emotional Burger was thanked for her assistance before being excused by Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Nel continues with evidence from Estelle van der Merwe, who lives across the road from Pistorius in the Silver Woods Country Estate, and who testified that she heard the sound of an argument in the early hours of the morning Steenkamp was shot.

Her testimony will continue after lunch today.

SECOND OSCAR WITNESS HEARD LOUD VOICES - Sapa

Loud voices were heard the night Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria home, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Estelle van der Merwe, the second witness to take to the stand in the murder trial of Pistorius, said it sounded like people fighting.

"It lasted for about an hour," said Van der Merwe.

The black-haired woman with blonde highlights in her hair testified in Afrikaans. An interpreter translated her testimony into English.

Van der Merwe lives in the Silver Wood Country Estate, the same complex where Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

She told the court: "I was irritated by the noise because I wanted to sleep and my son was going to write an exam."

Van der Merwe said she put a pillow over her head, trying to block out the noise. She later heard four shots.

After struggling to explain how the shots sounded, Van der Merwe said they sounded like "bang, bang, bang... That's the best I can do," she said.

"The shots were one after the other. After the shots, there was total silence."

After breaking down earlier as the injuries Steenkamp suffered were told to the court, Pistorius seemed to have recovered.

He was again taking notes and listening attentively to the witness.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door.

In addition, he is charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Pistorius's lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her through the bathroom door.

WITNESS CRIES DURING TESTIMONY - Sapa

A witness who heard shouting and gunshots from Oscar Pistorius's home began crying in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

This happened when prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Michelle Burger about her state of mind when she gave her statement to police.

"What were your emotions at the time of making the statement?" he asked.

"Raw emotion," she replied, her voice breaking as she began to cry, reaching for her purse to get a tissue.

She was questioned about a statement she made to Captain Mike van Aardt about the events on the morning of February 14 last year.

She said she relived Reeva Steenkamp's screams while in the shower.

Shortly before this, Nel asked her if it would have been possible for a cricket bat to make rapid bangs in succession when striking a door.

Burger said no as one would have to swing the bat, which would cause a delay between the bangs.

Pistorius broke down the door of his toilet with a cricket bat after he shot Steenkamp through it.

Burger has testified that she heard four bangs coming from Pistorius's home, 177m from her own townhouse.

"Bang... bang, bang, bang," she described them to the court, marking a pause between the first and second bangs.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, has questioned whether Burger confused the sound of the cricket bat striking the door with shots.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through the toilet door in his Pretoria home.

In addition, he is charged with premeditated murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a firearm in public.

Pistorius contends he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the toilet door.

REEVA TOO BADLY HURT TO SCREAM: ROUX - Sapa

Reeva Steenkamp would have been too severely injured to scream on the fateful morning of February 14 last year, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"There was serious, serious, brain damage," said Barry Roux, SC, for murder-accused Oscar Pistorius.

Pistorius held his head in his hands, hiding his face and cried.

A woman sitting with his family in the public gallery handed him a tissue.

Roux was seeking to disprove witness Michelle Burger's testimony that she heard a petrified woman scream moments before hearing four shots from the direction of Pistorius's home at Silver Woods Country Estate.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, saying he killed Steenkamp by accident when she was in the toilet of his home on Valentine's Day morning and thought she was an intruder.

He has denied there was an argument between the two before the shooting.

Roux said evidence would be presented that Steenkamp's injuries were so severe that there would have been no thought process and no cognitive function.

"It could not have been. She could not have screamed," he said.

After his lengthy cross-examination of the first witness in the trial, Pistorius's lawyer finally concluded his cross-examination.

Roux ended by asking Burger questions about her experience with guns.

She reiterated her statement from Monday that while she had heard gunshots before, it was the first time she had heard shots since she moved into Silverstreams Estate, the complex next to Silverwoods Estate where Pistorius lived and shot dead Steenkamp.

"Those were the only shots I had ever heard," said Burger.

The next witness, Estelle van der Merwe, was called to the stand.

WHEN THE WILLOW MEETS THE MERANTI - Sapa

Gunshots heard the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed could have been the sound of a cricket bat striking a door, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

The suggestion was made by Barry Roux, SC, for murder-accused Oscar Pretorius, as he was cross-examining witness Michelle Burger, who said she heard the shots.

Roux asked: "Do you know what it sounds like when an English willow wood [cricket bat] makes hard contact with a meranti door?"

With her house 177m from Pistorius's townhouse, where Steenkamp was killed, Roux asked her if this sound would not resemble gunshots.

"Only an expert can say, but I doubt it. A gunshot is extremely loud," she replied.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel lost his composure at one point during Roux's questioning.

He got up and addressed Judge Thokozile Masipa, complaining that the witness was being badgered.

Nel mistakenly addressed the judge as "Madam" instead of "My Lady".

His prompt apology evoked laughter from the public gallery, relieving the tension.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a toilet door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition, he is charged with premeditated murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a fireram in public.

Pistorius contends he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot through the toilet door.

ROUX GRILLS FIRST WITNESS - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer on Tuesday for a second day tried to cast doubt on the credibility of the State's first witness, who has testified that she heard a woman's piercing screams before Reeva Steenkamp died.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, said Michelle Burger's statement given to police several days after the athlete shot and killed his girlfriend last February did not match her testimony on the witness stand.

Burger, who lives about 170m from Pistorius's home, was the first witness the prosecution called on Monday as the paralympian went on trial for premeditated murder.

She told the High Court in Pretoria on the night Steenkamp died, she was woken by a woman's repeated cries for help, followed by four gunshots.

The screams subsided after the last shot.

Roux argued that this point was not reflected in her statement, which was initially written in Afrikaans.

Burger, a lecturer in economics and construction at the University of Pretoria, stood firm under relentless questioning and said there was no contradiction between her statement and her testimony.

Roux repeatedly told her to "just listen to the question please" when he was not satisfied with her replies.

Burger said: "My statement is a few pages long. I've been testifying for hours and I can explain the minute details to the court."

As he did on Monday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected on a point of interpretation of language.

He said Burger had accurately relayed her statement, and the difference Roux sought to suggest was due to the translation of the statement from Afrikaans to English.

Nel said there were some phrases and words that could be explained in a shorter way in Afrikaans but needed a lengthier explanation in English.

At another point in the cross-examination, he called Roux out for being sarcastic, forcing Pistorius's counsel to apologise.

Pistorius, who pleaded not guilty on Monday, listened attentively to the proceedings. He has insisted that he believed he was firing at an intruder hiding behind his locked toilet door when he shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day.

After a tea break, Roux put it to Burger that the similarities between her statement and that of her husband were too "striking" to be credible as their independent recollections of the events of the night Steenkamp died.

He argued that he believed Burger was prejudiced against Pistorius and that her version was influenced by the negative media coverage he had endured since the shooting.

"It drives to draw an inference that subsequent to your statement ... including the negative you have come to court and you wanted to make it quite clear that from your perspective his (Pistorius's) version could not be true.

Burger responded: "My Lady, the media did not alter what I heard."

Earlier on Tuesday, media was given a stern warning after a picture of Burger was used in violation of a court order.

"I am warning the media, if you do not behave, you will not be treated with soft gloves," said Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

OSCAR LAWYER SEES 'REMARKABLE SIMILARITIES IN WITNESS STATMENTS' - Sapa

There are "remarkable similarities" in the statements of a couple on what they heard the night Oscar Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, said three quarters of a statement presented by Michelle Burger were similar to that of her husband Charl.

"It seems like the one was used as a template for the other," said Roux, cross-examining Burger.

Earlier, Burger maintained she was not present when her husband relayed his version of events to the police officer.

"We didn't go and try and discuss and manipulate anything," said Burger.

She said while the police officer taking her statement may have been in possession of her husband's statement, she had not seen it.

The police officer had come to their home to take the statement.

"I didn't look for my husband's statement or ask to see it," said Burger.

She said her husband had left the house after giving his statement, leaving the police officer with her.

Roux questioned why she and her husband Charl Johnson's statements were, paragraph by paragraph, the same when they stated details such as that they went to bed between 9pm and 10pm on the first floor of their home .

The atmosphere was leavened with laughter after the confirmation that Burger and her husband were "in the same room".

Roux said it was remarkable that she and her husband said exactly the same thing about placing a call to security for help at 3.16am on February 14 that lasted 58 seconds.

"There was only one call, it was the same call," said Burger," flicking a page of a document in front of her and straightening herself up.

On Monday the court heard that Johnson's statement tells of a different number of shots to the four Burger heard.

Johnson is on the witness list.

The couple live at the Silverstreams Estate, which is next to Silverwoods Country Estate, the complex where Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp.

Burger claimed to have heard screams and shots coming from Pistorius's home, which was about 177 metres away from her home.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed his girlfriend through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition, he is charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Pistorius's lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the bathroom door.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux brings up the fact that Oscar screams like a woman again

Tweet: ‏@SundayTimesZA Burger to Roux: van Aardt asked us sequence of events for statement and it was the same for both of us. #OscaPistorius

Tweet: ‏@SundayTimesZA Roux to Burger: It is like the statements was lying next to each other and you looked at it paragraph. #OscaPistorius

Tweet: ‏@SundayTimesZA Burger to Roux: Some facts do differ but we did hear the same stuff.

Tweet: ‏@SundayTimesZA Burger to Roux: We were in same bedroom , in same bed, same windows open. Laughter in gallery. #OscarPistorius

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux going to give Burger a copy of her husband's statement to demonstrate that they did not give versions independently

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux I draw an inference that subsequent to your statement you came to court to make it clear Pistorius' version not true

PISTORIUS WITNESS STANDS HER GROUND - Sapa

The first witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial endured intensive cross-examination on Tuesday over what she said she heard the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

Michelle Burger listened intently as the grey-haired Barry Roux SC, his jaw jutting, waved his spectacles as he pedantically sought to pick apart her witness statement and testimony from Monday.

She told the court she heard screams and shots from the direction of the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria, where it later emerged that Pistorius had killed his girlfriend while she was in a toilet.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty, saying he shot Steenkamp by accident, thinking there was an intruder.

Burger, wearing a black tailored jacket and pink shirt trimmed with a white collar, spoke in English and with no sign of the halting Afrikaans interpreter she had on Monday.

At times, Burger pushed wisps of her long fair hair over her ears, nodding vigorously to repeat a point.

Occasionally, she paused when seeming exasperated at having to repeat a question that Roux had framed differently.

In response to Roux's repeated circling over the sequence of the screams and shots she said she heard, she said she had been in bed and "did not have a notebook at the time".

Pistorius held a silver pen to his temple and listened intently to her recounting of screams she said she heard over the night air from her bedroom at the neighbouring Silverstreams Estate.

Roux said he would prove that it was not possible for her to have heard what she did.

He said Steenkamp had been behind a door in a locked toilet cubicle "almost 200m" away. He said the scene would be reconstructed for her, to prove this.

Burger, a construction economics university lecturer, said the area had changed considerably since the fatal shooting.

At the time, there was a small flat roofed structure between the two estates, they lived near a nature reserve, the area was quiet, and they did not use air conditioning.

Now, there was construction taking place on that piece of land.

Oscar passes notes to legal team as cross-examination continues - Tymon Smith

The second day of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial saw the athlete looking more focused and confident, often passing notes to his defence team during Advocate Barry Roux's continued cross-examination of Pistorius's neighbour Michelle Burger.

Proceedings were interrupted, however, when prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected to a photograph of Burger being broadcast by television channel eNCA.

The channel argued that, based on its legal advice, it was not in violation of the court order allowing media coverage. It obtained the still photo from the website of the University of Pretoria, where Burger works.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that the broadcast was a violation and ordered an investigation into the matter, warning the media that they would not be treated with “”kid gloves” if they violated the terms of the order.

The media, instead of focusing on fulfilling their mandate to bring the events unfolding in the Pretoria High Court to the public's attention, briefly became the focus of that attention.

The trial resumes after tea with Roux's further examination of Burger, who for the moment is standing by her testimony that she was awakened by the sounds of a woman's screams in the early hours of February 14 2013, before hearing shots and further screams, which then faded away.

Burger and her husband live in a neighbouring estate to Silver Woods, where the shooting took place, in a unit 177m from Pistorius' home.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #Bromance RT @OscarsTrial: #OscarPistorius Pistorius deep in conversation with his lawyer Kenny Oldwadge during the break

MORE RELAXED OSCAR TAKING NOTES - Sapa

Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius looked more relaxed at his trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, taking notes as a witness testified.

On Monday, the first day of the trial, he kept his back to the public gallery and hardly ever looked around.

On Tuesday, he sat sideways, at one point looking towards where his victim Reeva Steenkamp's mother June sat on Monday, one row behind him and to his right.

June Steenkamp was not in court on Tuesday.

As witness Michelle Burger replied to questions on the sequence of screams and gunshots she heard the night Steenkamp was murdered, Pistorius listened attentively.

As Burger told Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, that she heard how "the gentleman called for help", the paralympian took notes.

A few moments later, he passed a folded piece of paper to a member of his legal team, who in turn passed it forward to Kenny Oldwadge, SC.

A few minutes later, Oldwadge interrupted Roux's questioning of Burger to whisper in his ear. Roux asked for a short break and court was adjourned shortly before 11am.

Pistorius stayed in court and stood up, making more notes on a document.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux invites state to test - we'll put the toilet door back, you scream and I promise you won't hear screams from 177m away

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux says Reeva was in a toilet with a locked door and a closed window so how could Burger hear her scream

OSCAR JUDGE WARNS MEDIA - Sapa

The media was given a stern warning after a picture was used of a witness being cross-examined during Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, in violation of a court order.

"I am warning the media, if you do not behave, you will not be treated with soft gloves," said Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

She ordered that no photographers of witnesses may be used -- no matter the source of the picture -- if the witness had asked that photos not be used.

Masipa said an investigation would take place.

"This might just be the tip of the iceberg."

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interrupted proceedings shortly after Michelle Burger started testifying on Tuesday morning.

Nel said he had been told that Burger's face was being shown on television, despite her request that this should not happen.

Her image, a still photograph, appeared on eNews Channel Africa.

But eNCA head of news Patrick Conroy said he believed the channel had not done anything wrong.

"We were not in violation of the court order, I must stress that," Conroy said on eNCA.

The broadcaster earlier tweeted: "NOTE: 'We used a still picture from the University website - also carried in daily newspapers."

The photograph has been taken down.

Afrikaans daily Beeld also used a picture of Burger in the newspaper on Tuesday.

Proceedings were stopped when the picture was shown on eNCA.

Masipa ordered the media to stop any photographs of any sorts of a witness.

She said it did not matter where it was sourced from if a witness had asked not to have their photograph published.

She ordered an investigation into the extent of the non-compliance.

This was after Nel said there was a photograph of Burger, Pistorius's neighbour, with audio of her cross-examination running.

He said the news channel eNCA asked the department of justice fo permission and were told no, but they went ahead and did so.

It was made clear that this was a violation of the ruling that no photograph or video of the witness should be shown.

There would be an investigation to establish what further steps should be taken regarding the violation, Nel said.

Last week Judge Dunstan Mlambo gave the media permission to broadcast the trial with strict conditions. These included not photographing or publishing images of witnesses if they asked for this in advance.

REEVA'S SCREAMS QUESTIONED - Sapa

The question of whether Reeva Steenkamp screamed before she was shot dead was probed on day two of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, asked witness Michelle Burger whether she had heard, at the paralympic athlete's bail application, his version that Steenkamp did not scream.

"I heard a woman scream," Burger answered.

Roux tried to have her explain the discrepancy between her version and Pistorius's.

"Maybe Mr Pistorius can explain why," she answered.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interrupted proceedings to tell the court that he had been informed that Burger's face was being shown on television, despite her request that this not happen.

Court was adjourned for Judge Thokozile Masipa to look into the matter.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

In addition he is charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

His lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the bathroom door.

Tweet: ‏@GraemeHosken Judge orders investigation into showing witness's face bans photos of other witnesses no matter where sourced from

ENCA TWEETS ABOUT PICTURE - Sapa

An ENCA tweet on Tuesday says the broadcaster used a still picture during their televised broadcast of paralympian Oscar Pistorius's murder trial on Tuesday.

"NOTE: 'We used a still picture from the University website - also carried in daily newspapers,' said ENCA's head of news Patrick Conroy on Twitter.

The trial was adjourned after the High Court in Pretoria was informed that the face of witness Michelle Burger was being televised.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interrupted proceedings to say that he had been told that Burger's face was being shown on television, despite her request that this should not happen.

Her image, a still photograph, appeared on eNews Channel Africa.

Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the proceedings to investigate the matter.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux continues with his cross examination of Burger

WITNESS SHOWN ON TV - Sapa

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial was adjourned on Tuesday after the High Court in Pretoria was informed that the face of the witness was being televised.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interrupted proceedings to say that he had been told that Michelle Burger's face was being shown on television, despite her request that this should not happen.

Her image, a still photograph, appeared on eNews Channel Africa.

Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the proceedings to investigate the matter.

Tweet: ‏@GraemeHosken Court adjourned as broadcasters flout court ruling of not showing of current witnesses face (ENCA showed a still image of the witness ed)

DAY TWO BEGINS - Sapa

The second day of the trial of murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius began around 9.30am in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Reeva Steenkamp's mother, June, was not yet in court when proceedings began.

The interpreter from Monday was not in court on Tuesday.

Cross-examination of witness Michelle Burger, who previously testified that she heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams coming from his home on the night of the shooting, continued.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, and contraventions under the Firearms Control Act, including possession of ammunition without a licence. He claims he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

PISTORIUS TAKES CALL AND CHATS TO ARTIST - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius briefly took a phone call and then spoke to a sketch artist at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday ahead of his murder trial.

The two casually shook hands before a brief interaction. Pistorius looked at ease on Tuesday, often looking back at the public gallery.

There was no sign of Reeva Steenkamp's mother June who was there on day one of the trial.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, and contraventions under the Firearms Control Act, including possession of ammunition without a licence. He claims he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

The first witness, Michelle Burger, took the stand on Monday and testified that she heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams coming from his home on the night of the shooting. Cross-examination of Burger was due to continue on Tuesday at 9.30am.

PISTORIUS FAMILY ARRIVE IN COURT - Sapa

The Pistorius family arrived and took their seats in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday ahead of paralympian Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.

His uncle Arnold, brother Carl, and sister Aimee were seen chatting and exchanging words with Pistorius.

There was still no sign of the Steenkamp family by 9.20am.

Photographers scrambled for a photo of the double-amputee as he entered, carrying a blue umbrella and a laptop bag. He was wearing a black suit and dark tie.

Inside courtroom GD, Pistorius was seen chatting to his lawyer Kenny Oldwadge and a woman on his legal team.

Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux entered the court through the judge's entrance.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, and contraventions under the Firearms Control Act, including possession of ammunition without a licence. He claims he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

The first witness, Michelle Burger, took the stand on Monday and testified that she heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams coming from his home on the night of the shooting. Cross-examination of Burger was due to continue on Tuesday at 9.30am.

PISTORIUS ARRIVES IN COURT - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius entered the High Court in Pretoria shortly after 9am on Tuesday for the second day of his highly-publicised murder trial.

He was carrying a blue umbrella and a laptop bag, and wore a black suit and dark tie.

Pistorius entered the dock and began speaking to a police officer.

He then turned around and briefly spoke to his family who sat in the gallery behind him.

Pistorius's lawyer Brian Webber was also seen in court.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, and contraventions under the Firearms Control Act, including possession of ammunition without a licence. He claims he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

The first witness, Michelle Burger, took the stand on Monday and testified that she heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams coming from his house on the night of the shooting. Cross-examination of Burger was due to continue on Tuesday at 9.30am.

The proceedings in the wood-panelled courtroom were broadcast live on television and radio, with the initial indictment listing 107 witnesses to testify for the State.

Judge Thokozile Masipa presided and swore in assessors Janet Henzen-Du-Toit and Themba Mazibuko.

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial Day 1

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Tue Oct 21 04:17:16 SAST 2014 ::