Oscar Pistorius trial: Premeditated murder ruled out

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The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ruled out a verdict of premeditated murder, saying the prosecution failed to prove he killed his girlfriend deliberately after an argument.

But Judge Thokozile Masipa also rejected the defence’s argument that the athlete lacked criminal capacity.

The judge said she was satisfied the accused “could distinguish between right and wrong”.

She said he was an evasive witness but this did not mean he was guilty.

The South African Olympic sprinter denies murdering Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he thought there was an intruder.

The judge could also find him guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for which he would face a long jail term.

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.

‘Insignificant’ evidence

Judge Masipa began by detailing the charges against the athlete and repeating extracts of his testimony, reading in a slow, measured way.

She then moved on to a summary of the trial

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