Prosecutors: Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius ′shot girlfriend four times′ | News | DW | 19.02.2013
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Prosecutors: Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius 'shot girlfriend four times'

Prosecutors in South Africa have accused paralympic star Oscar Pistorius of shooting his girlfriend model Reeva Steenkamp "four times." His second court appearance came as Steenkamp's family held a memorial service.

Pistorius wept on Tuesday as prosecutors outlined their case. He stands accused of shooting 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp in his upmarket home in a gated complex in South Africa's capital, Pretoria.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the 26-year-old athlete had killed an "innocent and unarmed woman" in a premeditated murder. 

He told the Pretoria Magistrate's Court that Pistorius had put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven meters and then shot Steenkamp four times through a bathroom door. Pistorius has denied the allegations.

In a statement released following his first court appearance on Friday, the athlete's family and management company said he disputed the charge "in the strongest possible terms."

The hearing comes as Steenkamp's family held a private funeral for the model in her hometown, Port Elizabeth.

Historic career

Commonly known as the "blade runner," Pistorius made history in 2012 when he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games.

He went on to win gold in the 4x400-meter relay and the 400-meter individual at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The athlete also took home gold medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games four years earlier in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter races.

Pistorius races wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades, having had both legs amputated below the knee as a result of a congenital condition before his first birthday.

Last year he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine.

ccp/kms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)