Oscar Pistorius found not guilty of premeditated murder and murder

 
Joe Hall
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Oscar Pistorius (Source: Getty)

Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty of charges of premeditated murder and murder of Reeva Steenkamp, and will discover tomorrow morning if he is guilty of culpable manslaughter.

The former Olympic and Paralympic athlete was in court today to hear his fate following the trial for Steenkamp's murder last year.

He was facing a life sentence for the charge of premeditated murder, yet judge Thokolize Maispa said there were "not enough facts to prove such a finding".

The trial has been adjourned until Friday morning when Pistorius will discover the verdict on the culpable manslaughter charge. Before adjourning Judge Maispa said that the sprinter had acted "too hastily" and "used excessive force" on the night of the murder. "In the circumstances, it was clear that his actions were negligent", she said.

Earlier Pistorius had been found not guilty for charges of murder and premeditated murder.

Maispa said there were "not enough facts to prove such a finding" of premeditated murder, and reminded the court that the onus was on the state to prove Pistorius' guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.

She said:

No onus rests on the accused to convince this court of the truth of the explanation, even if it is improbable, the court is not entitled to convict unless it is satisfied that not only is it improbable, but that it is beyond reasonable doubt false.

On the charge of murder, Maispa said Pistorius could not have reasonably foreseen that his shots would have killed the deceased, nor be aware of their identity.

Pistorius is said to have broken down in floods of tears as Maispa delivered her verdict.

Tomorrow's verdict follows a six month trial and 41 days of testimony in which Pistorius claimed he had wrongly believed Steenkamp to be an intruder on the night of her murder.

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