Pistorius haad ‘big love’ for guns

By Our Reporter
In Nigeria
Mar 11th, 2014
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A friend of Oscar Pistorius has told his murder trial that the athlete “had a big love” for guns. Darren Fresco said that he had been with him on two occasions when a gun had been fired in public.

Pistorius had once accidentally fired a gun in a restaurant but made him take the blame, Mr Fresco said. The Paralympic athlete denies intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and says he mistook her for a burglar.

Darren Fresco, in a black suit with shoulder-length, slicked-back light brown hair, seemed confident – some may even say cocky – as he answered defence lawyer Barry Roux’s questions.

Roux has a tendency to ask the same question over and over again pressing witnesses on details, which can make them seem unsure, and Fresco was no exception.

For one, he could not explain why his statement had not mentioned Oscar Pistorius asking him to be his fall guy at Tasha’s restaurant, or that he had made up a story to the restaurant owners about how the gun had gone off.

Fresco also was not sure when the Paralympian had asked him to take the blame for the incident, just that he had done. The lack of detail does not necessarily harm Fresco’s credibility. It has, however, given Roux enough room to suggest he may be protecting himself and sacrificing Pistorius.

Fresco’s testimony has also given us a glimpse into the friends’ fast life – guns, sports cars, beautiful women and a seeming disregard for police officers. Fresco said that on another occasion, he had been driving when Pistorius fired a gun out of a sunroof after police stopped him for speeding.

He said Pistorius had become angry after a police officer handled his gun, which was on the back seat of the car.

“You can’t just touch another man’s gun,” said Pistorius, according to Fresco.

“Now your fingerprints are all over my gun. So if something happens, you’re going to be liable for anything that happens,” Pistorius reportedly warned the officer.

The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani says Pistorius was far more composed than on previous days. He sat cross-legged, looking straight at his friend and taking notes.

Mr Fresco’s testimony, our correspondent adds, has given the court a glimpse into the fast life he shared with his friend – guns, sports cars, beautiful women and a seeming disregard for police officers. Mr Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend described the same incident in court in the first week of the trial.

Samantha Taylor said both men had been agitated after police stopped them and had joked about “shooting a robot [traffic light]“.

Mr Fresco denied making the joke and said that the mood had been calm before the shot was fired “without warning”. He said he had been left feeling as if his ears were bleeding and that Mr Pistorius had laughed after firing the shot.

The trial has now been adjourned until Wednesday.

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