Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Defence question first witness

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A flood of flashbulbs greeted South African Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius on day two of his murder trial in Pretoria.

The defence attempted to cast doubt on a neighbour’s testimony that she had heard a woman’s ‘terrible screams’ and four gunshots on the night Reeva Steenkamp was murdered. They questioned whether she would be able to identify emotion in the woman’s voice from her home.

The information is key to the prosecution’s case that he knowingly killed his model girlfriend after a lover’s argument on Valentine’s day 2013.

The court briefly adjourned after a local channel showed the witness’ photo against her wishes. Judge Thokozile Masipa wasted no time in telling the media that they would not be treated with soft gloves if further infringements occurred and launched an investigation into the leak. It is the first time parts of a trial are being broadcast live, and with such a high profile case it has attracted much attention. There is feeling amongst some South Africans that the rich and famous are above the law.

“I do believe that if Oscar was a black guy… he could have gone to jail a long time ago,” said one Pretoria resident continuing “they are actually trying to to make sure that he doesn’t go to jail, but honestly speaking he deserves to go to jail.”

Another resident who is following the trial believes the screams are strong evidence against Pistorius. “I heard that there was a witness who stated that he heard a woman screaming, which means she was screaming because there was something happening, I think they were fighting…they were fighting and he shot her.”

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty, claiming he shot his girlfriend from behind a bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder.

If found guilty he faces 25 years behind bars.

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