Police investigation errors come to fore in Pistorius case
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A police detective, testifying at Oscar Pistorius' bail hearing on Wednesday, said that police have not found anything inconsistent with how the star athlete described his shooting of his girlfriend — a killing that Pistorius says was accidental but which prosecutors call murder.
The second day of the bail hearing in a case that has riveted South Africa and much of the world appeared at first to go against the double-amputee runner, with prosecutor Gerrie Nel saying a witness can testify to hearing "non-stop talking, like shouting" between 2 am and 3 am before the predawn shooting on Valentine's Day.
However, under cross-examination by the defense, police Detective Warrant Officer Hilton Botha acknowledged that the witness who allegedly overheard the argument was 600 meters (yards) from Pistorius' house, where the shooting occurred.
Pistorius said in an affidavit read in court on Tuesday that he and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and budding reality TV star, had gone to bed and that when he awoke during the night he detected what he thought was an intruder in the bathroom. He testified that he grabbed his 9 mm pistol and fired into the bathroom door, only to discover later to his horror that Steenkamp was there, mortally wounded.
Later, prosecutor Nel re-questioned Botha, and the detective said the distance was actually much closer.
The prosecution attempted to cement its argument that the couple had a shouting match, that Steenkamp fled and locked herself into the toilet and that Pistorius fired four shots through the door, hitting her with three bullets.
Botha added: "I believe that he knew that Reeva was in the bathroom and he shot four shots through the door.''
But asked if the police found anything inconsistent with the version of events presented by Pistorius, Botha responded that they had not.