(PRETORIA, South Africa) — According to a statement released Friday by his manager, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee and Olympic track star, is disputing the murder charges leveled against him “in the strongest terms.”
Pistorius appeared in court in the South African capital of Pretoria for the first time since his arrest in conjunction with the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. The New York Times reports that the prosecution plans to charge Pistorius with premeditated murder, the most serious murder charge under South African law.
Pistorius did not speak or enter a plea in court, but said in the statement that “our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family — regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.”
The track star’s agent made clear that because the legal proceedings are now active, they “must be allowed to take their course through the process of proper investigation by the police, evidence-gathering and through the local South African judicial system.”
According to the Times, during the brief hearing on Friday, Pistorius’ lawyers asked for a postponement of the bail hearing in order to perform their own investigation into the circumstances surrounding Steenkamp’s death. The magistrate agreed and decided that Pistorius will be held at a local police station until his next court appearance. The judge also decided that the hearing will not be broadcast, and no photographs can be taken.
According to investigators, Pistorius shot Steenkamp with a handgun around 3 a.m. on Thursday at his home in a gated community in Pretoria. Witnesses reported hearing an argument or shouting at the complex before the shooting, and investigators found only Steenkamp and Pistorius on the premises, police said Thursday.
Police also reported that there had been previously reported incidents of a domestic nature at Pistorius’ home.
Pistorius is expected back in court on Tuesday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN