Athletics

Oscar Pistorius trial: Day three review

Oscar Pistorius back in court for day three.
Oscar Pistorius back in court for day three..

South African boxer Kevin Lerena stood in the witness box today to accuse Oscar Pistorius of accidentally firing a weapon in a restaurant last year.

Mr Lerena also told the court that Mr Pistorius, who is accused of the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, asked him to take the blame for the incident in January 2013.

The Paralympic gold medalist is facing up to another charge of illegally possessing ammunition.

The 27-year-old denies the allegation and also rejects the charge of intentionally killing his 29-year-old girlfriend, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.

Mr Lerena, a professional boxer, was the fourth witness to take the stand in the trial, which began at the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

He confirmed that he had been present at Tasha's Restaurant in Johannesburg with Mr Pistorius and two other friends including Darren Fresco when the incident took place.

Mr Fresco had passed Mr Pistorius the firearm under the table before telling him that there was a live bullet in the chamber.

When a shot was fired from the gun "complete silence" fell over the restaurant, Mr Lerena said.

"I looked down, and where my foot was there was a hole in the floor," he told the court. "I had a little graze on my toe, but I wasn't hurt."

Mr Pistorius apologised to the boxer and asked him to take the blame, which Mr Lerena agreed to do.

"Please, I don't want any attention around me. Just say it was you," he pleaded, according to Mr Lerena.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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