Oscar’s trial resumes

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IOL pic apr7 oscar pistorius in court on 2503 Reuters Oscar Pistorius is seen at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on March 25, 2014. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg -

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will resume in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Pistorius will most probably not be the first defence witness to take to the stand on day 17 in his murder trial, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

Brian Webber, who is on Pistorius's legal team, said it was likely that pathologist Jan Botha would be the first defence witness to be called.

“He (Botha) has personal reasons as to why he wants to testify first,” said Webber.

The Paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate.

He shot her through a locked toilet door at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder.

However, the State argues it was premeditated murder. It closed its case on March 25, after calling 21 witnesses, from a list of 107, in 15 days, including Pistorius's ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, his friends and several of neighbours.

Pistorius has hired forensic experts to describe what happened in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

University of Cape Town law lecturer Kelly Phelps earlier told Sapa that Pistorius needed to testify to prove that he mistakenly believed Steenkamp was an intruder.

Wits School of Law Professor Stephen Tuson said Pistorius risked conviction if he did not testify.

“If he does testify, he should testify first to prevent an accusation that he tailored his evidence,” said Tuson.

“The defence do not want the prosecution to say the evidence of the accused was tailored to match the evidence of the witnesses.”

Pistorius's trial began on March 3.

The trial was postponed on March 28, after one of the judge's assessors fell ill. - Sapa

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