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Murder trial date for Pistorius


Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius will stand trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp next March, a South African court has heard.

Pistorius appeared at Pretoria Magistrates' Court on Monday morning - the day Ms Steenkamp would have turned 30 - and a finalised indictment was served.

At the brief high-profile hearing, the court heard the six-time Paralympic sprint champion will stand trial from March 3 to 20 at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Magistrate Desmond Nair granted Pistorius bail on the same conditions he has been on since a hearing earlier this year.

The Paralympian is accused of the premeditated murder of Ms Steenkamp on Valentine's night, but claims he shot the 29-year-old after mistaking her for an intruder. If convicted, he faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Pistorius was obviously emotional as he stood in court ahead of the hearing, and was supported by relatives including brother Carl and sister Aimee, with whom he held hands ahead of the start of the hearing, appearing to pray. Friends of Ms Steenkamp were also in court.

Ms Steenkamp's parents previously said they are still searching for answers but her uncle Mike Steenkamp said that he has already forgiven Pistorius for killing her. In an interview on ITV's Daybreak, Mr Steenkamp said the family have coped with her death by concentrating on her life rather than on how she died.

He said the family have not faced the Paralympic champion in court but would want to know the outcome of the case.

"We haven't attended anything and we haven't actually applied our minds to the court case or Oscar's side," he said. "I know my brother and his wife would like to know at the end of the day why, quite rightly so. And I think that will come out."

The double-amputee, known as the "Blade Runner", will remain on bail until his trial next year.