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Oscar Pistorius bail application postponed

Published: 11:26PM Friday February 15, 2013 Source: ONE News

South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been remanded in police custody after appearing in court charged with the murded of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius is accused of the pre-meditated murder of the 30-year-old model at their home on Valentine's Day. He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court where his bail application was postponed until February 19.

South African broadcaster ENCA reported that the state requested a postponement of the bail application in order to investigate further and gather more evidence.

The defence requested Pistorius be held in a police cell rather than prison. Although initially concerned that this may amount to preferential treatment, chief magistrate Desmond Nair decided Pistorius would be remanded to the Brooklyn Police Station.

The hearing was delayed for two hours as defence lawyers objected to the scrum of local and international reporters packed into the courtroom.

After the delay, dressed in a grey suit and standing with his head bowed, Pistorius was formally charged with one count of murder. He then broke down in tears, sobbing and burying his head in his hands.

Arguing against live television coverage of the hearing, Pistorius' defence lawyer said his client was in an "extremely traumatised state of mind", tweeted BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding.

The magistrate ruled no live recording would be permitted throughout the bail hearing.

ENCA journalist Karyn Maughn reported that Steenkamp's family was not present in court, but that her father was travelling to Pretoria to identify his daughter's body. Her family is expected to be present at future

She said there were at least 60 journalists in court.

Global Post journalist Erin Conway-Smith tweeted from the court that Pistorius' family struggled to get into the courtroom through the crowd, later describing shouting and pushing at the courtroom doors. BBC news producer Justine Lang described "bedlam in court".

Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper said Steenkamp had been shot four times, in the head, chest, pelvis and hand.

"The security guards found Pistorius by Steenkamp's body in the bathroom," the paper said on its website, citing a neighbour.

"The door had bullet holes right through it."

It was originally reported that Pistorius had mistaken Steenkamp as an intruder, but South African police say it was a pre-meditated act.

- With Reuters

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