Oscar Pistorius Returns to Court Amid Arguments Over Leaked Pictures

For the first time in nearly four months, Oscar Pistorius, the South African paralympian accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, has appeared in court. During the 15-minute hearing, according to reports, Pistorius cut a much more composed figure than he did at his week-long bail hearing in February, during which he frequently broke down in tears. Police arrested Pistorius on Valentine’s Day and charged him with murdering Steenkamp. Pistorius acknowledged at the bail hearing that he shot 29-year-old Steenkamp, a model, through the bathroom door at his home in a secure compound in Pretoria, but he denies murder and says that he mistook his girlfriend, with whom he says he had spent a quiet night at his home, for an intruder hiding in the bathroom. He said at the bail hearing that he shot her with a gun he kept for security. The defense argues that the murder charge should be reduced to culpable homicide. At today’s hearing Judge Daniel Thulare postponed the case until 19 August (which by coincidence would have been Steenkamp’s 30th birthday). The prosecution had asked for more time to prepare for the case. Pistorius’ brief appearance in court (he spoke just once, to confirm that he understood the magistrate’s instructions not to violate his bail conditions before his next court appearance in August) has for the first time in months cast the spotlight on Pistorius, who became the first double-leg amputee to compete in the Olympics. A 400m runner, he raced against able-bodied athletes at the London Olympics last year. The athlete has made only a few confirmed trips out of his uncle’s house in Pretoria since February. (MORE: The Pistorius Case: Do Police Claims Fit the Story?) His coach, Ampie Louw told the Daily Telegraph that, while he is continuing to train at home, “mentally, he’s still battling.” His manager, Peet Van Zyl, told Der Spiegel: “Oscar sleeps poorly. He eats poorly. When you talk to him, of course he listens but I don’t reach him, he’s not there. He cries a lot.” ………………

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