Oscar Pistorius denied charges that he intended to kill his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in an affidavit read aloud in a South African courtroom on Tuesday, reports the New York Times. The statement contradicts the accusation by the prosecution that the double-amputee Olympian had committed premeditated murder last Thursday. It was the first time either side had publicly revealed details of their differing accounts of Steenkamp’s death.
“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated,” Pistorius said in an affidavit read to the packed courtroom by his defense lawyer, Barry Roux, “I had no intention to kill my girlfriend.”
“We were deeply in love and I could not be happier,” said Mr. Pistorius’s affidavit, read at a bail hearing. “I know she felt the same way.”
As the statement was read, Pistorius wept so much that a recess was called until he regained his composure. The case was adjourned until Wednesday without a bail ruling.
If convicted of the premeditated murder charge, Pistorius would face a mandatory life sentence; he would be eligible for parole in 25 years at the latest.