Oscar Pistorius plans to sell the upmarket Pretoria house where he shot dead his girlfriend last year to cover the legal fees for his murder trial, his lawyer said Thursday (20/03/2014).
“It has become necessary to sell Mr Pistorius’s home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs,” the 27-year-old’s lawyer Brian Webber said in a statement.
“This is due to the unexpected extension of the trial beyond the initial three-week period for which it was originally set down.”
The Paralympic athlete has been paying his own legal fees since he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, according to the statement.
The costs – reportedly as high as R100,000 (6,700 euros) a day – are said to include at least three full-time lawyers in court, ballistics and forensics experts as well as an American crime scene reconstruction company.
Since the shooting Pistorius has been living at his uncle’s house in Pretoria.
The authorities turned the runner’s home in the gated community back over to him over a year ago and he had planned to keep it sealed until the trial finished.
“He has been forced to revisit this decision,” according to Webber, who said the statement was meant to preempt media speculation about the sale.
Prosecutors have charged the double-amputee sprinter with intentionally killing Steenkamp, 29, and are expected to wrap up their case early next week.
Pistorius insists he shot the model through a toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder.
The trial resumes Monday. – AFP