Paralympics’ athlete Oscar Pistorius, who is now on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, plans to sell his home to pay for the legal costs of his trial.
"It has become necessary to sell Mr. Pistorius' home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs," said Pistorius’ lawyer Brian Webber in a statement.
According to the Agence France-Presse, Pistorius has been paying his legal fees since the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day of 2013, with daily costs estimated to be as high as $9,000. Pistorius’ legal team is comprised of at least three court lawyers, ballistics and forensics experts and an American crime scene reconstruction company.
Due to the unanticipated extension of Pistorius’ trial he was forced to sell his home to continue to pay for his legal team, CNN said. Though the athlete listed his annual income at about $500,000 a year, he has not been able to compete professionally since the murder.
Court documents declare the home to be worth and an estimated $465,000.
Pistorius has not returned to the gated residence since Steenkamp’s murder and his lawyer said, "Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again," the BBC reported.
"Despite the fact that the house was handed back to Mr. Pistorius by the authorities more than a year ago, a decision was taken to keep the house sealed until after the trial," Webber said.
Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend in the heat of a fight. However, Pistorius claims he shot his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder. Pistorius’ trial has adjourned for the week and is expected to resume for a fourth week on Monday.