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Oscar Pistorius may sell home to cover legal fees

Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius plans to sell the upmarket USD 460,000 Pretoria house where he shot dead his girlfriend last year to cover the legal fees for his murder trial, his lawyer said yesterday.

 Oscar Pistorius' upscale Pretoria house where the Paralympian shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year. Pic/AFP
Oscar Pistorius' upscale Pretoria house where the Paralympian shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year. Pic/AFP

"It has become necessary to sell Mr Pistorius' 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.

Unexpected trial extension
"This is due to the unexpected extension of the trial beyond the initial three-week period for which it was originally set down." Estate agent Ansie Louw, who is handling the sale, said the house will be sold in a closed bid, starting at five million rand (USD 460,000).

High cost of defence
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 USD 9,000 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. Prosecutors have charged the double-amputee sprinter with intentionally killing 29-year-old Steenkamp after an argument, and are expected to wrap up their case early next week.

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