News / Africa

    Pistorius Murder Trial Delayed Until April 7

    Oscar Pistorius leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 28, 2014, after the trial was postponed.
    Oscar Pistorius leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 28, 2014, after the trial was postponed.
    VOA News
    The murder trial of South African runner Oscar Pistorius has been delayed because one of the legal experts assisting the judge is sick.

    Pistorius was expected to testify Friday, the day his defense lawyers were due to begin presenting their case.  

    But Judge Thokozile Masipa said one of her assessors is ill, and announced the trial would resume on April 7 after a scheduled break next week.

    Under the South African legal system, the judge has two experts that help the court reach a decision.

    Earlier this week, prosecutors wrapped up their case against Pistorius, who is accused of intentionally killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria last year.  

    The Olympic athlete shot the 29-year-old law graduate and model through a locked bathroom door. He says he thought he was shooting at an intruder.  

    Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and three firearm-related counts.

    If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

    Pistorus is known as the "blade runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. He was the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics at the 2012 games in London.
     
    • Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, April 14, 2014.
    • Oscar Pistorius outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 10, 2014.
    • Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
    • Family members, including uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, cry as they listen to Oscar Pistorius testifying in court in Pretoria, April 8, 2014.
    • Oscar Pistorius becomes emotional during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, April 7, 2014.
    • Members of the public crowd around Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the high court, Pretoria, March 12, 2014.

    • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl at his indictment at the magistrates court in Pretoria, August 19, 2013.
    • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, Feb. 14, 2013.
    • Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Jan. 26, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sept. 8, 2012.

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    Comment Sorting
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    by: Peter
    March 28, 2014 2:42 PM
    I hope that the other assessor does not fall ill. Perhaps there should be two more assessors to cover such possibilities.

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