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Pistorius murder trial to resume in S’Africa

The third day of the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is to begin shortly in Pretoria.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.

The 27-year-old double amputee shot the model and reality TV star at his home, saying he mistook her for an intruder.

On Tuesday, a second witness told the court she was awoken by the sounds of a fight on the day that Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was shot dead.

Estelle Van Der Merwe, a neighbour, said the row had lasted about an hour.

“It seemed like somebody was involved in a fight,” said Ms Van Der Merwe, who lives in the same gated Pretoria housing estate as the Paralympic athlete. “People were talking in loud voices.”

The argument woke her at about 01:56 local time (23:56 GMT). After that, she heard four loud sounds in succession.

The arrest of Ms Pistorius, a gold medal winner, astounded South Africa.

For the first time in South Africa, parts of the trial are being televised live, although some witness testimony, including that of Ms Van Der Merwe, is being excluded from TV broadcasts.

However, the audio of the entire trial is being aired.

Van Der Merwe said she had been irritated by the noise of the argument and placed a pillow on her head “in hope of falling asleep again”.

Tuesday’s hearing adjourned not long after the third witness, Charl Peter Johnson – husband to the first witness, Michelle Burger – had taken the stand.

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