Oscar Pistorius to Sell House ‘to Pay Lawyers’

The prosecution has been calling witnesses for 13 days so far during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial
The prosecution has been calling witnesses for 13 days so far during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is to sell his house in order to fund the legal costs of his murder trial, his lawyer has said.

He denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.

Lawyer Brian Webber said the ongoing trial was going to last longer than the three weeks expected.

He said Mr Pistorius had not returned to the house in a gated estate in the capital, Pretoria, since the shooting.

“Mr Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again,” the South African Press Association (Sapa) quotes Mr Webber as saying.

“Despite the fact that the house was handed back to Mr Pistorius by the authorities more than a year ago, a decision was taken to keep the house sealed until after the trial,” he said.

Court papers filed last year during the double amputee’s bail application show the house in the Silverwoods Estate was valued at about 5m rand ($457,000; ¬£277,000), Sapa reports.

His murder trial, which is already in its third week, has adjourned until Monday when the prosecution is expected to call five more witnesses before the defence puts forwards its case.

The prosecution says Mr Pistorius intentionally shot Ms Steenkamp – a model, reality TV celebrity and law graduate – after an argument.

But the athlete says he believed his girlfriend was in bed and that an intruder had entered the bathroom when he shot at the toilet door in the early hours of 14 February 2013.

If found guilty, the 27-year-old – a national sporting hero and double amputee dubbed the “blade runner” because of the prosthetic limbs he wears to race – could face life imprisonment.

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