Pistorius murder trial postponed

South Africa: A South African court has postponed to August 19 the pre-trial hearing of Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, to give police time to wrap up their investigation.
Nanjing Night Net

Magistrate Daniel Thulare also on Tuesday extended bail for Pistorius, South Africa’s Paralympic sprint star.

Earlier, Pistorius arrived at court for the first time since being freed on bail in February over the Valentine’s Day killing of model Reeva Steenkamp.

Sporting a grey suit and blue shirt and tie, and looking tense, the sprinter known as the “Blade Runner” walked through the main front entrance and headed straight to a courtroom packed with media and his family.

Tuesday’s hearing came just days after a British television channel broadcast leaked crime scene pictures showing the blood-spattered bathroom where Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp multiple times through a locked door.

Prosecutors have charged the 26-year-old with premeditated murder.

Conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

But the athlete claims he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder in a “terrible accident” and the defence wants the charge reduced to culpable homicide, which risks up to 15 years behind bars.

Steenkamp, 29, who had been dating Pistorius for just a few months, suffered gunshot wounds to her head, elbow and hip.Her mother June told Britain’s Channel 5 in a show aired on Monday the couple had been having arguments.

‘”We’ve been fighting, we’ve been fighting a lot,” Reeva once said in a phone call, June Steenkamp remembered.

“She must have been so afraid in the toilet and somebody is firing bullets through the door. And already one bullet had hit her so she must have been in severe pain also,” said June Steenkamp. “We don’t know what happened. There’s only one person that knows what happened.”

AFP

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