JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Lawyers for “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius demanded answers from South African police and prosecutors on Friday after pictures of the bathroom and toilet where he shot dead his girlfriend were leaked to a British television station.
Sky News obtained a series of images of the crime scene in Pistorius’ luxury Pretoria home where the double amputee track star shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day on February 14.
Pistorius was one of the stars of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London and the case shocked millions across the world as he was seen as a symbol of truimph over adversity.
In South Africa, he was a hero for both blacks and whites, transcending the racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.
Pistorius has admitted to shooting four times through the locked door but says he was acting in self-defense at what he thought was an intruder.
Prosecutors accuse him of premeditated murder for firing into the door hitting Steenkamp, 29, in the head, hip and arm.
The pictures showed a pool of blood in the bathroom, spattered walls, and a trail from dragging the body.
Lawyer Brian Webber said he had sent a letter to the prosecution team demanding answers for the appearance of the pictures the week before Pistorius is due back in court.
“I have requested an explanation and I am confident I will get one,” he told Reuters.
A spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority said it was unclear how Sky had obtained the pictures. Police declined to say whether they were part of the formal investigation but said they would make no difference to the trial.
South Africa does not have trial by jury so pre-trial media coverage is seldom deemed to be prejudicial.
Tuesday’s court appearance by Pistorius is expected to be a 10-minute formality.
Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Editing by Ed Cropley and Angus MacSwan