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Pistorius selling home to pay bills

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Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: AP

Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: AP

Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: AP

OSCAR Pistorius is selling the house where he killed Reeva Steenkamp to raise money for his legal bills, the athlete's lawyer said yesterday.

The Olympic runner has not returned to the Pretoria villa since the day he shot his girlfriend more than a year ago and "cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again", lawyer Brian Webber said.

Double amputee Pistorius (27) had planned to keep his home "sealed" until after his ongoing murder trial, Webber said, but it is now necessary to sell it to fund his defence because the trial is expected to last longer than predicted.

"Due to the delay in finalising the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset has had to be made," Mr Webber said in a statement.

Pistorius valued the house at $456,000 (€331,000) at his bail hearing last year.

His murder trial was initially planned to run from March 3 to March 20, but prosecutors are still presenting evidence and expect to continue with their case until the middle of next week.

Then, Pistorius' defence will call witnesses. The trial is expected to run into April and maybe longer.

The multiple Paralympic champion is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Ms Steenkamp (29) through a toilet door on February 14 last year.

Intruder

Pistorius pleaded not guilty, saying he shot Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his home.

Mr Webber said he issued the statement "to pre-empt speculation in the public and the media and to state the reasons for this decision". Pistorius has been living with an uncle since he was released on bail last February.

During his bail hearing, Pistorius outlined his assets. He said he owned the house where he lived and where he killed Ms Steenkamp in a posh gated community, as well as two other houses in Pretoria and an empty plot of land in Langebaan, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province.

He also listed other assets and cash investments worth around $140,000 (€101,600).

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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