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Pistorius Murder Case: Testosterone and Needles found in Pistorius Apartment

Oscar Pistorius

Prosecutors said Wednesday that they found testosterone and needles at the home of double amputee track star Oscar Pistorius when they went to his home last week to investigate the shooting death of his girlfriend. But the athlete’s lawyer said the substance was a herbal supplement and was not subject to international prohibitions on doping.

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Oscar Pistorius in the dock during a break in Wednesday’s proceedings in Pretoria. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
At a bail hearing in Pretoria, prosecutors have accused Mr. Pistorius, 26, of premeditated murder — a crime he denies. But the testimony on the third day of hearings since the shooting last Thursday seemed to introduce fresh accusations relating to the athlete’s lifestyle.

According to prosecution testimony by a police detective, Hilton Botha, Mr. Pistorius accidentally fired a weapon at a restaurant in January and persuaded a companion to take responsibility. He had also threatened violence in another incident in an altercation about a woman.

Potentially more damning was the police assertion that two boxes of testosterone and needles were found when police searched Mr. Pistorius’s home in a gated community where Reeva Steenkamp was found shot to death.

The prosecution did not accuse him directly of using or abusing the substance. Testosterone in various forms is among banned substances on the 2013 list of prohibited drugs for athletes issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency on its Web site. But Barry Roux, Mr. Pistorius’s defense lawyer, said the substance found at his client’s home did not figure among banned drugs.

It was “not a steroid and it is not a banned substance,” Mr. Roux said, accusing the police of taking “every piece of evidence and try to extract the most possibly negative connotation and present it to the court.”

According to The Associated Press, an International Paralympic Committee spokesman said Mr. Pistorius was tested for drugs on Aug. 25 and Sept. 8 last year and both were negative. At that time, Mr. Pistorius made sporting history by becoming the first Paralympic sprinter to compete against able-bodied atheletes in the London Olympics.

Mr. Pistorius, 26, arrived early at a courthouse here in a police car, his head covered by a blue blanket, to press his case to be released on bail pending trial in the death of Ms. Steenkamp, 29.

Prosecutors, who say bail should be denied, opened their arguments on Wednesday by saying they had a statement from a witness who said she heard “nonstop talking, like fighting” from 2 to 3 a.m. on the morning of the shooting. The prosecutors are seeking to depict the killing as following an argument.

As a police investigator described Ms. Steenkamp’s wounds to the right side of her head, arm and hip, Mr. Pistorius broke down in tears.

The police said two smartphones were discovered but neither had been used to make a call that morning. Police had also retrieved unlicensed .38 caliber ammunition from the house and Mr. Pistorius’s lawyer and brother were accused of removing documents relating to offshore bank accounts from a safe in the house, according to the prosecution testimony.

Mr. Pistorius’s appearance in court on Wednesday was his third since the shooting. Before he appeared, the scene at the courtroom was described by witnesses as bedlam with journalists battling for space to follow the proceedings.

Mr. Pistorius told the court on Tuesday that on the day of the shooting he heard a strange noise coming from inside his bathroom, climbed out of bed, grabbed his 9-millimeter pistol, hobbled on his stumps to the door and fired four shots.

“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated,” Mr. Pistorius said in an affidavit read by his defense lawyer, Barry Roux. “I had no intention to kill my girlfriend.”

Prosecutors painted a far different picture, one of a calculated killer, a world-renowned athlete who had the presence of mind and calm to strap on his prosthetic legs, walk 20 feet to the bathroom door and open fire as Ms. Steenkamp cowered inside, behind a locked door.

“The applicant shot and killed an unarmed, innocent woman,” Gerrie Nel, the chief prosecutor, said in court on Tuesday. That, Mr. Nel argued, amounted to premeditated murder, a charge that could send Mr. Pistorius to prison for life and, according to the magistrate hearing the case, make it more difficult for the athlete to be released on bail.

The prosecution repeated the accusation on Wednesday, saying Mr. Pistorius knew Ms. Steenkamp was in the bathroom but fired anyhow. While Mr. Pistorius had said the house was dark when he heard what he thought was an intruder, the prosecution cited a witness as saying a light had been switched on when the first of four shots was fired.

The witness heard a gunshot, then the sound of a woman screaming, then more shots, the prosecution said.

But the defense disputed the prosecution testimony, saying the neighbor who claimed to have overheard an argument in Mr. Pistorius’s home in fact lived 600 yards away.

Moreoever, Mr. Roux, the defense lawyer, said, it was possible that Ms. Steenkamp had locked herself into the toilet when she heard Mr. Pistorius shout at an intruder.

- NY Times

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