8 April 2014

South Africa: Oscar Reads Messages to Court

A distraught and emotional South African athlete Oscar Pistorius took the stand in Pretoria on Monday in his own defense, as his lawyers seek to ... ( Resource: Distraught and Emotional Pistorius Takes Stand in S. Africa )

Pretoria — Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius read a litany of text messages between himself and Reeva Steenkamp in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, trawled through a file containing copies of hundreds of WhatsApp messages the couple exchanged,

He had Pistorius read them to the court in a clear attempt to prove they had a loving relationship.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on February 14 last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

"I know we argue from time to time, but I know we are actually quite similar," Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius in January 2013.

"It's okay to argue about the things we argue about, at least it's not about fundamental values," she wrote.

In another she said: "Thank you for being the most beautiful person to me... when I look at you I smile inside."

While reading them, Pistorius sometimes paused while crying and sniffing, propping his head on his hand when he seemed to become overwhelmed.

(When she sent him a black and white photograph of herself with her hair done, Pistorius replied with several kisses.)

When she told him "I like you", Pistorius replied with "I like you too" followed by several exclamation marks.

The State has previously used a few of the messages to show that Pistorius appeared at times to be jealous, possessive and quick to lose his temper.

While proceedings were underway, Pistorius's ex girlfriend Samantha Taylor tweeted: "Last lies you get to tell... You better make it worth your while." She deleted it minutes later.

Taylor was not in court on Tuesday, but has testified for the State.

She said Pistorius cheated on her with Steenkamp.

Pistorius is also is also charged with contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The trial continues.

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