Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has branded the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp a "tragic accident" and accused a leading police officer of attempting to destroy him.
The track hero pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and three firearms offences as his trial high-profile began in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday (03Mar14) after a delay while an Afrikaans translator was found.
It is alleged the gold medal winner gunned down the blonde model during a bust-up in February last year (13), but his lawyers are expected to claim Pistorius thought he was shooting at an intruder.
In an opening statement read out by Pistorius' lawyer, the defendant accuses lead detective Hilton Botha of character assassination by suggesting the couple had been arguing prior to the shooting, insisting, "The state has no basis whatsoever that I intended to take Reeva's life. All the objective evidence will corroborate my version...
"(Botha's) statement was false and designed to falsely incriminate me for premeditated murder. He was in charge of inspecting the scene - it was contaminated. The idea that I wanted to kill Reeva cannot be further from the truth."
The defence also argues that witnesses could not have heard raised voices before Steenkamp's killing as they were too far away.
The trial continues.
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