Oscar Pistorius trial: Day two review

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Oscar Pistorious was back in court today.
Oscar Pistorious was back in court today..

The trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius - who stands accused of the pre-meditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp last February - continued in Pretoria today, with proceedings having to be temporarily adjourned early on after a local television station appeared to broadcast a publicly-available image of witness Michelle Burger.

Such an action provoked a warning from Judge Thokozile Masipa, but the trial did eventually resume with defence counsel Barry Roux continuing his cross-examination of Burger - a neighbour of Pistorius - that initially began yesterday.

Burger reportedly claims that she heard a woman screaming as shots were being fired on the night in question, something that Roux appeared keen to challenge.

"We will debate the sequence of the bullets. We will have experts state that there was serious brain damage after the shot to the head, that it would not have been possible for her to scream at all," Roux said in court.

Burger replied: "As I said yesterday, I heard her voice just after the last shot. It could have been that it was as the last shot was fired."

The cross-examination of the witness appeared particularly unforgiving, with a testy back-and-forth between the two culminating in Roux asking Burger the same question on eight separate occasions as he sought to establish her credibility.

"I'm going to be really slow this time," Roux said. "You heard at the bail application that it was put on behalf of Mr Pistorius that Reeva did not scream that night, is that correct?"

To which the witness reportedly confirmed she had heard those claims.

"You've watched Sky News, you've watched other channels, and you've got retrospective knowledge and you take that knowledge and you come and  give evidence today as if it's the knowledge of that fateful evening," Roux also said.

Two more witnesses also appeared before the court on day two, another neighbour of Pistorius' in Estelle van der Merwe and Burger's husband, Charl Johnson.

The latter claimed to be under the impression that Pistorius' house had been broken into.

He said: "We were under the impression that they were being held up in their house.

"I lay in bed thinking of how I can improve the security around my house. I fell asleep at about 4am.

"When I woke up I started measuring around the house. I went to work  early around 6am and I remembered surfing on the web for security gates for costs."

Pistorius, a double-amputee who has enjoyed unprecedented success as a Paralympic sprinter, denies all charges against him. Given that South Africa do not have juries at their trials, his fate will be decided by Judge Masipa.

The trial continues.

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