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Pistorius' lawyer rejects witness testimony about woman's screams

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Oscar Pistorius sits in court ahead of his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Photo: Reuters

Oscar Pistorius sits in court ahead of his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Photo: Reuters

Oscar Pistorius sits in court ahead of his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Photo: Reuters

Oscar Pistorius' murder trial resumed with the defence attorney rejecting the testimony of the state's first witness.

Defence attorney Barry Rout said Michelle Burger, a neighbour of Pistorius, could not have heard with any clarity the screams of a woman locked in a toilet 177 metres away, and challenged her to a test. Ms Burger insisted that her statement was accurate.

"When you heard that anxious screaming, why the sound would travel is because it was not in a locked toilet," Mr Rout said.

Double-amputee Pistorius (27) pleaded not guilty yesterday in the High Court in Pretoria to purposefully shooting model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in the city on Valentine's Day last year. Mr Rout argued that it was a case of accidental death.

"I told them everything I heard," Ms Burger said in response to a question from prosecutor Gerrie Nel. "The terrifying screams."

Pistorius has admitted shooting Ms Steenkamp three times while she was in his bathroom, believing she was an intruder.

Proceedings were briefly adjourned when Mr Nel told the court that a picture of Ms Burger was being shown on TV, saying it violated a condition of a court order that some witnesses could choose not to be filmed giving evidence.

Presiding judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa ruled that no photos may be shown of the witness.

DISTRESSED

Ms Burger was visibly distressed after learning that her image had been broadcast.

She is the first of more than 100 witnesses who may be called by the prosecution.

Members of both families sat on front benches in court.

Apart from the murder charge, Pistorius faces two counts of illegally firing a gun in public and one of illegally possessing ammunition.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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