London 2012

Oscar Pistorius denies accusations he murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Last Updated: 15/02/13 3:42pm

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Oscar Pistorius: Wept in court in Pretoria on Friday morning.

Oscar Pistorius: Wept in court in Pretoria on Friday morning.

Oscar Pistorius disputes the allegation that he murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp "in the strongest terms".

Pistorius wept as he was formally charged with murder at a Pretoria court on Friday.

And prosecutors confirmed that they will pursue a premeditated murder charge - which carries a mandatory life sentence.

But Pistorius' family and management company released a statement in which it was confirmed that the world's most famous Paralympian denies murder.

Pistorius bail hearing delayed

The death of Ms Steenkamp was described in the statement from Pistorius' family and management as a "terrible, terrible tragedy".

The statement read: "Oscar Pistorius has appeared in court here in Pretoria this morning formally charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms.

"These are now live and active legal proceedings which must be allowed to take their course through the process of proper investigation by the police, evidence-gathering and through the local South African judicial system.

Custody

"In a short hearing lawyers representing the athlete asked for a postponement for a bail application until Tuesday next week to allow time for their own investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy, which was agreed by the magistrate, who also agreed that Pistorius would be held in custody at a local police station."

Steenkamp, a model and budding reality TV show participant, was shot and killed at Pistorius' upmarket home in an eastern suburb of Pretoria.

Pistorius was met by a media frenzy outside court, having left a police station with a coat over his head.

Reports in the South African media suggest his girlfriend had been blasted four times through a bathroom door. A 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene.

Police said the model was shot in the head and upper body.

The sprinter's arrest caused shock around the world and prompted speculation he may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong.

But police swiftly distanced themselves from the suggestions.

Miss Steenkamp's body was discovered at around 3am, after neighbours reported hearing screams and gun shots coming from the athlete's home.

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