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Cops ready for Oscar trial

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius bows his head as he stands in the dock at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. File picture: Masi Losi

 

Johannesburg - Police are ready for the trial of murder accused paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius, Gauteng deputy commissioner Maj-Gen Tebello Mosikili said on Wednesday.

“The case is going to court, (and) all necessary evidence that we needed to take the docket to court has been collected so far,” she told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We have made good progress.”

She said a task team, including herself, had been set up to focus on the case until its end.

“We are ready to go to court,” Mosikili said.

Pistorius's trial is expected to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria from March 3 to 20. His girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home on February 14, 2013. At his bail hearing last year Pistorius submitted that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

A total of 107 witnesses are expected to testify for the State. Among them are Pistorius's sister Aimee, his uncle Arnold, former police investigator Hilton Botha, and residents of the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria, where he lived.

Medical experts, a weather forecaster, paramedics, ballistic and forensic experts will also be called. Pistorius's former girlfriends, Melissa Rom and Samantha Taylor, will also testify.

Last month, it was reported that Pistorius's lawyers had been negotiating a financial payment with representatives of Steenkamp's parents for nearly six months.

Both sides have reportedly declined to comment on the details, including the amount being considered, because of their sensitive nature. Steenkamp had apparently been helping her parents financially.

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming murder trial will reportedly be launched. “The Oscar Pistorius Trial: A Carte Blanche Channel” is expected to launch on March 2, the day before the star athlete goes on trial. - Sapa


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