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‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius back in court

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius reappeared at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court Monday morning to hear murder charges against him. His court reappearance coincides with the 30th birthday of his girlfriend Reeva Stamkemp whom he shot dead at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, this year, reports Xinhua. Amid heavy police presence, Pistorius entered the court room packed with his family members and a strong media contingent.

Last week, police said they had concluded their investigation of Pistorius’s murder case. Pistorius and his defense team will get a full picture of what evidence the state has against him and how it will try and prove he murdered Steenkamp. Pistorius said he shot Steemkamp, mistaking her for a burglar.

But police do not support his accounts and argue a case of premeditated murder. The state is preparing to serve the indictment on him. When the indictment is served, the state is also expected to disclose the docket of evidence to allow the accused to prepare a defense.

In addition to the murder charge, Pistorius reportedly faces two new charges — the first charge related to Pistorius firing his gun out of the sunroof of a friend’s car while driving home from a holiday and the second charge allegedly related to Pistorius accidentally firing his friend’s gun in a Johannesburg restaurant.

The athlete is currently out on 1-million-rand (about $100,000) bail. While there’s been no confirmation of a trial date, it’s expected to be set for March next year. Pistorius is known as the Blade Runner because of his carbon fiber prosthetic blades. He was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics. He reached the 400 meters semi-finals at the London 2012 Games.

                                                                                                                                                – IANS

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