Thursday, September 11, 2014

South Africa: Oscar Pistouris to Hear Pretoria High Court's Verdict Today

According to The Latin American Tribune, the Pretoria High Court will announce its verdict Thursday (September 12) on South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, 27, accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, officials said.

The sentence hearing is expected to get underway at 0930 hours local time in the final proceedings of a trial that began in March 3, 2014.

Pistorius maintains he had fired his handgun, thinking that an intruder had broken into his Pretoria mansion.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel insists that the legless runner intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument some neighbors claim to have overheard, and has asked Judge Thokozile Masipa to sentence Pistorius to life in prison for premeditated murder.

Alternatively, Nel might also request the defendant to be convicted of lesser charges in case it cannot be legally established that the athlete knew who he was shooting at.

COMMENT: Pistorius fired four times through the bathroom door of his home in Pretoria early on February, 14, 2013. He also faces charges related to the reckless use of firearms in public and unlawful possession of ammunition.

The athlete, who had both legs amputated owing to a genetic defect, had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Pistorius, 27, gained fame in the 2012 London Games, when he became the first athlete in history with both legs amputated to compete in the Olympics. The trial has attracted enormous media attention worldwide.