independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Pistorius's brother: I'm not guilty over woman's car death

OSCAR Pistorius's elder brother Carl has declared he is innocent of killing a woman in a car crash after it emerged that he appeared in another South African court during his brother's four-day bail hearing.

Prosecutors allege that Carl Pistorius (28) was responsible for the death of the woman after what his lawyers claim was an accident involving his car and her motorcycle in 2008.

He appeared at a magistrate's court in a town south of Johannesburg on Thursday morning before his case was adjourned and he returned to Pretoria to attend his brother's bail hearing.

Kenny Oldwage, the lawyer representing both Pistorius brothers, said yesterday that Carl Pistorius would contest the culpable homicide charge when his trial continued next month.

"There is no doubt that Carl is innocent and the charge will be challenged in court," Mr Oldwage said in a statement yesterday.

An original case was withdrawn by state lawyers but the charges were later reinstated on the orders of the deputy public prosecutor. The woman's relations reportedly insisted that evidence pointed to negligence by Carl Pistorius in the crash, which happened 90 miles south of Pretoria, in 2008.

It is understood that Carl Pistorius's case will continue before the end of March. His brother, who has denied murdering Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, will next appear in court on June 4. The revelation that both Pistorius brothers face charges comes after Hilton Botha, a detective, was dropped from the Oscar Pistorius case because he is facing seven counts of attempted murder.

This, plus the fact that both Carl Pistorius's and Hilton Botha's cases were withdrawn and then later reinstated, has led some in South Africa to fear that the Paralympic champion's high-profile case is exposing their crime-plagued country's criminal justice system to ridicule.

Oscar Pistorius (26) was at his uncle's house in Pretoria with his close family at the weekend on his first two days on bail, set at the equivalent of €84,000, since he was arrested on Valentine's Day for shooting Ms Steenkamp (29) a law graduate and model.

Arnold Pistorius claimed that his nephew's successful application for bail last week was "only the beginning of a long road to prove that. . . Oscar never intended to harm Reeva". (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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