Pre-meditated murder charge breaks Oscar
19 February 2013, 16:39
Pretoria - Pre-meditation could not be ruled out in the
death of Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Pretoria magistrate
Desmond Nair said on Tuesday.
With Pistorius crying, and his family sobbing and praying in
the public gallery, Nair then ruled that the murder charge against Pistorius be
treated as a schedule six offence.
This is a section of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) which
deals with extremely serious offences.
"I find it unfortunate that I have to rule whether this
is a schedule five or six case," said Nair.
Under the act, where an accused is charged with an
"extremely serious" schedule six offence, he may be released only if
he produces evidence to satisfy the court that exceptional circumstances exist
which, in the interests of justice, permit his release.
Nair said there did not need to be a set amount of time
which passed between planning, and an act, for it to constitute pre-meditation.
Pistorius was charged with murder on Friday after the
shooting, the previous morning, of Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria.
Steenkamp's funeral service took place earlier on Tuesday in
Pistorius had listened with his head bowed while Nair ran
through the background of submissions made by State prosecutor Gerrie Nel and
by his advocate Barry Roux.
Nel had submitted that Steenkamp's death was pre-meditated
murder, rejecting an explanation that Pistorius had mistaken Steenkamp for a
After a recess, the court is expected to proceed to the bail