1 minute read
9 Apr 2014
3:02 pm

Pistorius explains not guilty plea

Oscar Pistorius's denial that he murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was not made because he believed the crime scene had been tampered with, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

FILE PICTURE: June, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, is comforted by unidentified relative afte her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, 9 April 2014. Pistorius sobbed in the witness stand on Tuesday as he described how, gripped by fear, he shot dead his girlfriend through a locked toilet door thinking she was an intruder. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/Pool

“I pleaded not guilty because what I am accused of did not happen,” said Pistorius.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had asked him how he selected his plea when he appeared in court last year after shooting Steenkamp dead in his toilet on Valentine’s Day.

Pistorius said he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom when he fired four quick shots from his firearm.

The State alleges they had argued and that her death was premeditated.

Pistorius said he did, however, believe that the bloodied scene at his house in Pretoria was tampered with and that his counsel would present witnesses to testify to this.

Nel defined the word tampering twice for him at his request “It is ‘you change something on the scene with the intention to let it look different’.”

Pistorius said according to his legal counsel there had been tampering, disturbance and contamination of the scene.

People were in the house without protective clothing, Steenkamp’s iPhone had been moved, according to police photographs taken of the scene, a fan had been unplugged, curtains had been opened and discs had been moved.

He said anything that was changed would bother a person involved in such a serious case.

A detective who was among the first on the scene, Warrant Officer Hilton Botha, was removed from the case and has since resigned from the police.