여자친구 살해혐의를 받는 '의족 스프린터' 오스카 피스토리우스(26)가 내년 3월부터 정식 재판을 받게 됐다.
피스토리우스는 19일 오전(현지시간) 남아프리카공화국 수도 프리토리아 법원에 출석했으며 담당 재판관인 데스몬드 나이르 판사로부터 2014년 3월 3일 정식 재판이 시작된다는 통보를 받았다.
검찰은 이날 법원에 제출한 기소장에서 피스토리우스가 여자친구 리바 스틴캄프를 살해할 목적으로 프리토리아 자택에서 지난 2월 14일 오전 3시 직후 그녀에게 총 을 쐈다고 기술했다.
현지 언론 EWN이 공개한 기소장에 따르면 일부 검찰 측 증인은 사건 당시 현장 에서 한 여성의 비명소리가 들렸으며 이후 잠시 정적이 이어졌다가 총성이 울리고 또 비명이 났다고 증언했다.
검찰은 피스토리우스가 안방 화장실에 침입자가 든 것으로 생각해 총을 쐈다고 하지만 이 역시 고의로 사람을 죽이려는 의도를 갖고 이뤄진 것이라고 지적했다.
검찰은 재판 증인으로 무려 107명의 명단을 법원에 제시했다. 증인에는 피스토 리우스의 전 여자 친구와 여동생 에이미 등이 포함돼 있다. 이에 따라 진실을 가리기 위한 치열한 법정 공방이 진행될 것으로 예상된다.
또 검찰은 피스토리우스가 허가 없이 실탄을 소지했다며 총기법을 위반한 혐의 도 추가했다.
피스토리우스는 법원에 출석해 여동생 에이미, 형 칼과 함께 손을 붙잡고 기도를 하는 장면이 목격됐다.
특히 에이미 코끝에 눈물 방울이 맺힌 데 이어 피스토리우스도 감정이 북받치는 듯 콧물을 훔쳐내기도 했다.
한편 이날은 숨진 스틴캄프의 30회째 생일이기도 하다.
스틴캄프 가족은 이날 법원에 출석하지 않고 스틴캄프를 기념하는 별도의 모임을 가질 예정이라고 현지 언론은 전했다.
두 다리가 절단돼 칼날처럼 생긴 의족을 달고 트랙을 달려 '블레이드 러너'란 별명을 지닌 피스토리우스는 밸런타인데이인 지난 2월 14일 프리토리아 동부 지역에 소재한 자택에서 스틴캄프에게 총을 쏴 살해한 혐의를 받고 있다.
피스토리우스는 그러나 당시 집안에 강도가 든 것으로 오인해 안방에 딸린 화장 실 안쪽을 향해 총탄을 발사한 것이라며 고의 살해 혐의를 부인하고 있다.
그는 이어 열린 구속적부심 공판에서 100만랜드(1억2천만원)의 보석금을 내고 풀려났다. (연합뉴스)
Oscar Pistorius indicted on murder charge
PRETORIA, South Africa -- Oscar Pistorius was indicted Monday on a charge of murdering his girlfriend, and prosecutors said witnesses heard a woman screaming before the sound of fatal gunshots fired by the double-amputee Olympian in the early hours of Valentine's Day.
Pistorius, who was in court for the indictment and wept before proceedings began, also will face a charge of illegal possession of ammunition when he goes on trial March 3 in a court in the South African capital, Pretoria.
The much-awaited indictment in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court yielded new detail about how prosecutors will pursue a case that has gripped the world because of the celebrity status of Pistorius, who overcame his disability to become a global phenomenon. His model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, would have celebrated her 30th birthday on Monday.
Prosecutors said Pistorius shot ``with the intention to kill a person,'' and a prosecution spokesman said after the hearing that it was premeditated murder.
The prosecution also will attempt to show the couple argued before she was killed as part of its case that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp.
“Some of the state witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and then more screaming,'' the prosecution said in the 11-page indictment.
The court set March 3-20 as the trial period for Pistorius, who has said he shot Steenkamp by mistake, believing she was an intruder in his upscale home in Pretoria. Prosecutors submitted a list of more than 100 witnesses, including Pistorius' uncle Arnold, sister Aimee and brother Carl, as well as a number of people who lived in the same gated community where Steenkamp was killed.
If convicted, Pistorius could face a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison before parole. There is no death penalty in South Africa.
Prosecutors said Steenkamp died just after 3 a.m. on Feb. 14 of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the autopsy. The state will attempt to show that the couple could have fought before Pistorius shot four times through a locked toilet cubicle door, hitting Steenkamp three times and killing her.
Pistorius has said he thought Steenkamp was in bed and he shouted at her to call the police, believing there was a dangerous intruder in his bathroom, and that he didn't know she was in the toilet cubicle.
Pistorius, 26, appeared in court for Monday's indictment, crying and holding hands with his siblings before proceedings started. Wearing a dark suit, the athlete wiped away tears with a tissue and sat in the dock with his head bowed.
Pistorius also stood and spoke twice, first responding to the magistrate's question on whether he was OK by saying: ``Under the circumstances, ja (yes).'' He also was asked if he understood the indictment and he said he did.
The case will be sent to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where a judge will ultimately pronounce the athlete innocent or guilty. South Africa does not have trial by jury.
Although the word ``premeditated'' was not contained in the indictment, prosecutors said afterward that it was a case of premeditated murder.
'`When you talk of intentional, it's premeditated. Intentional. He wanted to do that,'' prosecution spokesman Medupe Simasiku said. ``In as far as a sound case, let the court decide on that. We believe it will go through in our favor.''
Prosecutors said the second charge of possession of illegal ammunition relates to a lack of proper licensing for .38 caliber bullets found at Pistorius' home. Pistorius shot Steenkamp with his licensed 9mm handgun.
This month, the office of South Africa's police commissioner said in a statement that detectives, forensic experts, ballistics experts, psychologists and other professionals are confident they have the evidence to convict Pistorius.
The most telling evidence apart from the witness testimony may be in records on cellphones found at Pistorius' home and through examination of the toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot.
The angle or trajectory of the bullets could show if Pistorius was standing on his stumps when he shot, as he says, or if he was on his prosthetics, as the prosecution maintains a marked difference in the two accounts along with the alleged fight between him and Steenkamp.
There was no mention in the indictment of whether prosecutors still believed Pistorius was on his prosthetic legs when he shot, nor was there reference to the cellphones or door. But the prosecution only needed to give a broad outline of its case.
Pistorius' legal team now has just over six months to prepare his defense before trial. (AP)