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[Published: Tuesday February 19 2013]

Paralympic star Pistorius 'shot' girlfriend in bathroom

Pretoria, 19 Feb - (ANA) - South African athletics star Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend by shooting her through a bathroom door at his home, prosecutors told a court. Details of the prosecution's case against Mr Pistorius, accused of the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, emerged at a bail hearing in Pretoria. He wept as he heard the account, but his lawyers said the killing was "not even murder". The hearing comes as the victim's family holds a private funeral. The prosecution is pursuing a charge of premeditated murder against the 26-year-old athlete. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that on the night of the killing Mr Pistorius - a double amputee - got up, put on his prostheses, walked seven metres and fired his gun through the bathroom door. He shot four times and hit Ms Steenkamp three times, he said. The defendant later broke down the bathroom door and carried the victim downstairs, Mr Nel added. Defence lawyer Barry Roux told the court his client did not know in advance who was behind the door. He said the prosecution had provided "no evidence of premeditated murder", and that it was not even murder. Following Thursday's killing there was media speculation that Ms Steenkamp had been mistaken for an intruder but police rejected that possibility. Mr Pistorius has been held in a cell at a police station Pretoria since his arrest on Thursday. Meanwhile the family of the 29-year-old victim are holding a private funeral in her home town of Port Elizabeth. Relatives spoke of their grief in a newspaper interview published on Monday. Ms Steenkamp mother June told the Times of South Africa: "All we want are answers... answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this." The case has aroused huge interest both in South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius is regarded as a national hero, and around the world. Mr Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion, competed in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games at London 2012. (ANA)
FA/ANA/19 February 2013---



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