Olympian Oscar Pistorius is due in court Tuesday
Family: "The leaking of evidential material" does not advance the legal process
Pistorius is charged in the killing of his girlfriend
Photos released last week purportedly show the bloodied bathroom where she died
The family of Olympian Oscar Pistorius said Monday they are “shaken” by the “graphic images” leaked to the media last week that purportedly show the blood-spattered bathroom where the double amputee track star fatally shot his girlfriend in February.
“It has always been our plea that the legal process be allowed its run its course with integrity,” the Pistorius family said in a statement. “The leaking of evidential material into the public domain, before the court case, does not advance this process.”
The statement comes a day before Pistorius is due to appear in court where prosecutors are expected to ask magistrates to postpone the case pending further investigations. Pistorius, 26, is charged with killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14.
The graphic photos of the crime scene were published by Sky News on Friday and show a trail of blood leading from a bathroom; blood on the walls, stairs and a couch inside the house, and a Valentine’s Day card with “Ozzy” – Steenkamp’s nickname for Pistorius – written on it.
The photo of the bathroom shows a toilet covered in blood, a door with a missing panel and what appear to be two police-marked bullet holes below the level of the door’s handle. CNN has not been able to independently confirm the authenticity of the photos, and police spokesman Brigadiere Phuti Setati declined to comment on how Sky News obtained the pictures.
Pistorius, known as the “Blade Runner” for competing on carbon fiber blades fitted to his amputated legs, has said he thought there was an intruder in the house. Afraid of being attacked, he ran on his stumps to the bathroom, where he shot through the door from a relatively low angle four times. It was only upon returning to his bedroom, Pistorius says, that he realized Steenkamp was not in bed and that she had been the one in the bathroom.
The state alleges it was premeditated murder: Pistorius had an argument with Steenkamp then put on his prosthetic legs, walked to the bathroom and shot through the door from a relatively higher angle, intentionally killing her.
His uncle told CNN last week that Pistorius is a broken man over the incident and described his nephew’s grief as “unthinkable.”
“What can you say if the person you love the most dies, and you were the instrument? How would you feel? It’s unthinkable,” Arnold Pistorius said.
His family said Monday they “fully stand behind Oscar.”
“We believe in him, love him and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead,” the statement said.
CNN’s Nick Thompson and Robyn Curnow contributed to this report.