Judge rules out murder in Pistorius case
The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ruled out all murder charges, but says he may still be guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter).
Judge Thokozile Masipa said the prosecution had failed to prove the Olympic athlete killed his girlfriend deliberately, prompting tears from Mr Pistorius.
“The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder,” she said. “There are just not enough facts to support such a finding.”
She added that although he was an evasive witness, this did not mean he was guilty.
The South African Olympic sprinter denies murdering Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2014, and claims he thought she was an intruder.
Mr Pistorius, 27, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.
Judge Masipa said she would rely more heavily on the facts presented by technology such as phone calls rather than the accounts of witnesses who, as human beings, were “fallible”.
The court has gone on recess for lunch.