Oscar Pistorius 'did not have prosthetic legs on' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp


Oscar Pistorius is back before Pretoria magistrates' court over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Looking subdued, the 26-year-old sprint star walked into the Pretoria court wearing a black suit and light blue shirt, and started praying with his sister Aimee and brother Carl, holding hands with them and crying.
The prosecution is expected to serve the athlete with an indictment for the premeditated murder of his girlfriend. A trial date will also be set.
Pistorius was a trigger-happy gunman prone to violent outbursts, police will tell the court.
The Olympian’s past boasting of being a crack shot and threats to "break people's legs" could come back to haunt him because the prosecution will now rely on former girlfriends and associates in an attempt to expose his "aggressive character”, South Africa's Sunday Times reports.
But, in a revelation which could help the double amputee, a leaked ballistics report shows he did not have his prosthetic legs on when he shot  Steenkamp as she cowered in the bathroom of his Pretoria home.
Family forgive Oscar, says uncle
Reeva Steenkamp's uncle Mike has said he has already forgiven Oscar Pistorius for killing her.
In an interview on ITV's Daybreak, Mr Steenkamp said: "I think from the beginning and onset that we decided that we could never be sidetracked from Reeva's life, and I think that's helped us tremendously.
"I just think of Reeva's life. How happy she was, and what she actually meant to the family. Not only to her own parents, but to her cousins and myself and my wife. She was an exceptional person."
He said he has forgiven Pistorius, who is appearing at Pretoria Magistrates' Court today, because of his firm believe in God.
He added that the family have not faced the Paralympic champion in court but would want to know the outcome of the case.
"We haven't attended anything and we haven't actually applied our minds to the court case or Oscar's side," he said.
"I know my brother and his wife would like to know at the end of the day why, quite rightly so. And I think that will come out."  
The revelation about Pistorius not having his legs on is significant.
In an earlier court hearing,  Pistorius 26, said that he had woken in the middle of the night, heard a noise in the bathroom and immediately grabbed his gun to protect himself and his girlfriend, who was staying the night.
“I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable,” he said in an affidavit.
“I believed that when the intruder or intruders came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger.“
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel contended that Mr Pistorius took the time to strap on his prostheses, indicating the shooting had been a “clear case of premeditated murder”.
The angle or trajectory of the bullets could show if Pistorius was standing on his stumps when he shot, as he says, or if he was on his prosthetics, as the prosecution maintains - a marked difference in the two accounts.
The hearing will be "especially tough" on Steenkamp's family, a friend of her parents said, because the model would have celebrated her 30th birthday.
"I'm sure they will keep an eye on developments in Pretoria, but they really just want to have a dignified day with prayers to remember their daughter," the friend said.
Pistorius's lawyer says the trial will begin in March, more than a year after the shooting.
''It will be from the first week of March until end of March,'' attorney Kenny Oldwage said.
Pistorius will be indicted on a main charge of premeditated murder at Pretoria Magistrate's Court today.
The indictment papers served on Pistorius by the state mean the case will be sent to the High Court in the South African capital Pretoria, where a judge will preside over the trial and ultimately pronounce the world-famous athlete innocent or guilty.
South Africa does not have trial by jury. The mandatory sentence for someone convicted of premeditated murder is life with a minimum of 25 years in prison, meaning if Pistorius is found guilty, he will be older than 50, at least, when he leaves prison. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

The indictment papers are expected to include a list of witnesses to be called by the prosecution during the trial, and detail some of the evidence police investigators have gathered in the six months since Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp in a bathroom in his home on Valentine's Day.
Prosecutors told The Associated Press it is "`possible'' that additional charges could be added to the indictment but declined to comment on South African media reports that Pistorius would face two other charges relating to recklessly discharging a firearm in a public place in two separate incidents.
The incidents - reportedly when Pistorius shot a gun out of the sunroof of a moving car and let one off accidentally in a restaurant - would seemingly show the prosecution's attempt to paint Pistorius as trigger-happy at his trial.
Neither Pistorius' defence lawyers nor his family would comment in detail on any of the charges.
"The Pistorius family does not wish to comment on any aspects of this court case before the next court appearance,'' Anneliese Burgess told the AP in an email. "In our view, the correct place for any information relating to charges or witnesses or any other aspects pertaining to this or any other legal case, is in a court of law.''  
Police announced last week they had completed their six-month investigation into Steenkamp's killing at Pistorius' upscale home in Pretoria in the pre-dawn hours of February 14 and were "convinced the accused has a charge to answer to.''
Effectively, police have finished gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses and the prosecution is ready to go to trial.
The statement, from the office of South Africa's national police commissioner, said detectives, forensic experts, ballistics experts, psychologists and technology experts all worked on the case and are confident that they have the evidence to convict Pistorius.
"The South African Police Service is hopeful that justice will prevail,'' the statement said.
The most telling evidence may be in records on cellphones found at Pistorius' home and through examination of the toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot four bullets, hitting Steenkamp three times and killing her.
Pistorius has kept a low profile since the killing.
He has been seen just twice in public between the time he was granted bail on February 22 and his most recent appearance in court on June 4. Since he was last in court, his family has announced he would return to a "low-key'' track routine and he was seen jogging on his regular practice facility, and sporting a short beard, in late June.
Last Monday, a South African newspaper published photographs of Pistorius on a beach during a holiday with friends.

In the rare public appearance, Pistorius was wearing a white T-shirt and a life-vest as he paddled with another man in a kayak. In another photo, he is standing on the beach in shorts, his pale prosthetic legs exposed to the sunshine.
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