Pistorius's defence team to receive American assistance

Cape Town, Oct 1 (IANS) A team of forensic experts has arrived in South Africa to assist the defence team for murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius, it was confirmed Tuesday.

The team will assist Pistorius's defence team to prepare for the March trial, according to Pistorius's spokesperson Anneliese Burgess, reports Xinhua.

"I can confirm that a team of forensic investigators from America will be working with the defence team," Burgess said without giving any details.

"It's very standard practice to work with experts during the preparation of any trial," said Burgess.

Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home Feb 14. Pistorius said he shot Steemkamp, mistaking her for a burglar. But police do not support his account and argue a case of premeditated murder.

Pistorius's trial date is set for March 3 to 20 next year.

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

Prosecutors have prepared an indictment to serve on Pistorius.

When the indictment is served, the state is also expected to disclose the docket of evidence to allow the accused to prepare a defence.

The athlete is currently out on a 1 million rand (about $100,000) bail.

Pistorius is known as the Blade Runner because of his carbon fibre prosthetic blades. He was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics. He reached the 400m semifinals at the London Games.


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