Pistorius selling house to pay for murder trial

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Oscar Pistorius is selling the house where he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to raise money for his legal bills.

Lawyer Brian Webber said in a statement that it had “become necessary” for the double-amputee runner to sell the villa in Pretoria because his ongoing murder trial will go beyond the expected three-week duration.

Pistorius has never returned to the house since he fatally shot Ms Steenkamp in an upstairs bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of February 14 last year.

He added Pistorius “cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again” and that the house has remained “sealed”.

Pistorius is on trial at the high court in Pretoria charged with murder and three other firearm-related offences. He has pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

Mr Webber said in a statement: “Due to the delay in finalising the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset has had to be made.”

Pistorius valued the house at £276,500 at his bail hearing.

Pistorius’ murder trial was initially planned to run March 3 to March 20, but prosecutors are still presenting evidence and expect to continue with their case until the middle of next week.

Then, Pistorius’s defence will call witnesses. The trial is expected to run at least into April.

Pistorius, 27, says he shot Steenkamp, 29, by mistake thinking she was a burglar in his bathroom. Pistorius is being defended by two of South Africa’s best-known lawyers at his trial, Barry Roux and Kenneth Oldwadge, while his court team includes at least three other lawyers, and several specialists.

Pistorius says he has funded his own defence from the start.

He has been living with his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in the eastern suburbs of the South African capital, Pretoria, since he was released on bail last February.

Pistorius, who earned over £300,000 a year from running, owns two other houses in Pretoria and an empty plot of land near Cape Town. His trial was adjourned until Monday.