Witness: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame' for gunshot

Updated: 2014-03-06 10:14 (Agencies)

Witness: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame' for gunshot

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius leaves court on the third day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in Pretoria, March 5, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

"Take the blame"

Pistorius immediately apologized to his friends and checked they had not been hurt, but then turned to Fresco and asked him to take responsibility, Lerena said.

"'Please take the blame for me - there's too much media hype around me'," Lerena quoted Pistorius as saying. "'Take the blame because this can be big.'"

When the restaurant owners came up to investigate, Fresco told them the gun had fallen out of the pocket of his tracksuit trousers.

"I said to him 'What's the first rule of owning a gun? Safety first?'" Maria Loupis said. "He said 'Yes' and I hit him over the head."

Pistorius paid the bill and the group left, she added.

At the Pretoria High Court, Pistorius' defence team wound up its cross-examination of a third prosecution witness who said he had heard shouts and screams from Pistorius' house before shots were fired on the night Steenkamp died.

Earlier, lead defence advocate Barry Roux tried to undermine the testimony of wife and husband Michelle Burger and Charl Johnson, who lived 177 meters (195 yards) away in an adjacent housing complex, as being too similar to be credible.

"You could just as well have stood together in the witness box," he said, earning his second rebuke of the three-day-old trial from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Besides denying murder, Pistorius, who had his disabled lower legs amputated as a baby and now runs on carbon fibre prosthetic "blades", has pleaded not guilty to the Tashas gun charge.

He is also accused of putting a bullet through the sun roof of a former girlfriend's car in a separate incident.

The trial is being broadcast daily on live television, a first for South Africa, although most witnesses have asked for their faces not to be shown to protect their identity.

Johnson, the neighbour, said on Wednesday he had received "intimidating" phone calls the previous night from people who had heard his phone number read out in court during his wife's earlier cross-examination.

Witness: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame' for gunshot

Witness: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame' for gunshot

Witness: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame' for gunshot

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