Pistorius disputes murder charges

Oscar Pistorius says his thoughts are with late girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp’s family.

Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station on February 14, 2013 in Pretoria East. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius on Friday denied murdering model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

According to a statement released by his family and management company, the athlete denies charges leveled against him in "the strongest terms".

Pistorius also sent his deepest sympathies to Steenkamp's family.

The statement described Thursday morning's incident as a "terrible, terrible tragedy."

Pistorius also used the opportunity to thank all those who have supported him.

His statement reminded the world of his achievements on the track.

BODY IDENTIFIED

Steenkamp's body was identified on Friday after a post-mortem was conducted.

Her body will now be sent to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

A close friend of Steenkamp's took on the responsibility of identifying her body on Friday morning.

Her family is in Port Elizabeth, where she grew up.

It is understood the post-mortem has been conducted and the details will feature in the criminal case against Pistorius.

According to sources close to the investigation, Steenkamp was shot four times through a bathroom door.

One bullet struck her in the head.

TEARFUL OSCAR

During his first court appearance on Friday, prosecutors announced they will argue a case of premeditated murder.

The 26-year-old wept uncontrollably as he was charged with murder in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) also defended its decision not to oppose an application by Pistorious to be detained at a police station instead of Pretoria Central Prison.

Chief magistrate Desmond Nair said he is concerned there may be an impression that Pistorius is receiving preferential treatment.

But defence advocate Barry Roux successfully argued that it will allow his client to better prepare for his bail application.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel agreed, saying he understood the gravity of the matter.

Pistorius will be held at Pretoria's Brooklyn police station.

His bail application will resume on Tuesday.

FAMILY SUPPORTS OSCAR

Pistorius' family and friends rallied behind him during his first court appearance on Friday.

His head fell into his hands and he was gripped by uncontrollable sobs as his dad, Hanke, sat directly behind him in the public gallery.

Hanke stretched out his arm and placed it on his son's back.

His father's reassuring touch seemed to calm him down, but Pistorius broke down several times during proceedings.

Roux says his client is in an extremely traumatised state of mind.