Family condemns claims Pistorius beat girlfriend with bat


April 23, 2016
file 2012 file photo of Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius.

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa (AP):

Claims in a new book that Oscar Pistorius beat his girlfriend with a cricket bat before fatally shooting her in his home in 2013 were condemned as "outrageous" and "absurd" by the Olympic runner's family yesterday.

In a statement, the Pistorius family said no new evidence existed to back up the allegations and called the book's authors "amateur forensic hobbyists" who were only seeking fame and money. It also condemned what it called the media's "often-vicious" parallel trial against him.

In their book Oscar vs The Truth, brothers Calvin and Thomas Mollett wrote they had seen new evidence, including marks on the back of Reeva Steenkamp's body that indicated Pistorius had hit her with the bat before he killed her.

"This is yet another attention-seeking, money-making exercise, this time by two citizens with detective fantasies who have a history of latching onto high-profile cases after the fact," the Pistorius family said.

The Mollett brothers have also published books about another high-profile murder case in South Africa involving a man who was acquitted of murder for killing his girlfriend.

Pistorius' family also dismissed a British newspaper story that said his uncle had admitted Pistorius murdered Steenkamp, calling that report "gutter journalism".

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