Johannesburg — South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is to sell his house in order to fund the legal costs of his murder trial, his lawyer has said.
He denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.
Lawyer Brian Webber said the ongoing trial was going to last longer than the three weeks expected.
He said Pistorius had not returned to the house in a gated estate in the capital, Pretoria, since the shooting.
“Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again,” Webber said.
“Despite the fact that the house was handed back to Pistorius by the authorities more than a year ago, a decision was taken to keep the house sealed until after the trial,” he said.
Court papers filed last year during the double amputee’s bail application show the house in the Silverwoods Estate was valued at about US$457 000.
His murder trial, which is already in its third week, has adjourned until tomorrow when the prosecution is expected to call five more witnesses before the defence puts forwards its case.
The prosecution says Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp — a model, reality TV celebrity and law graduate — after an argument.
But the athlete says he believed his girlfriend was in bed and that an intruder had entered the bathroom when he shot at the toilet door in the early hours of February 14 2013.
If found guilty, the 27-year-old — a national sporting hero and double amputee dubbed the “blade runner” because of the prosthetic limbs he wears to race — could face life imprisonment. —BBC