SA Judge Clears Pistorius Of Murder Charges

The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ruled out murder charges, but has left it to Friday to announce whether he is guilty of culpable homicide.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said prosecutors had failed to prove the Olympic athlete killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp deliberately in the toilet after a row, prompting tears from Mr Pistorius.

But she said he acted too hastily and his conduct had clearly been negligent.

Adjourning the trial, she said a reasonable person would not have fired.

Judge Masipa had earlier described Mr Pistorius as an evasive witness but said this did not mean he was guilty.

Clearing him of murder charges, she said he could not have foreseen killing whoever was behind the toilet door.

The South African Olympic sprinter had denied murdering Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he thought there was an intruder.

Mr Pistorius, 27, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.

‘Facts wrong’

Judge Masipa began by detailing the charges against the athlete and repeating extracts of his testimony, reading in a slow, measured way.

 

She then moved on to a summary of the trial.

 

BBC