Judge set to give verdict in Oscar Pistorius trial

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South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

The Olympic double-amputee sprinter faces 25 years in jail if found guilty of premeditated murder.

He denies intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he thought there was an intruder.
Mr Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.

During his closing remarks last month, his lawyer Barry Roux conceded that the athlete should be found guilty of negligence for discharging a firearm in a restaurant – which carries a maximum penalty of five years.
The judge could also find him guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for which he would face a long jail term.

Most of the trial, which began on 3 March 2014, has been televised and attracted worldwide attention.

Before the fatal shooting, the 27-year-old athlete was feted in South Africa and known as the “blade runner”.

He had won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed at the Olympics.
The judgement at his trial is likely to be well over 100 pages. The judge will go through each charge, summing up the prosecution and defence cases and analysing the evidence.

Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, was hit three times by bullets shot through a toilet door by Mr Pistorius at his home in the capital, Pretoria, in the early hours of 14 February 2013.

He denies the prosecution’s allegation that the couple – who had been dating for three months – had rowed.

The athlete said he thought she was still in the bedroom when he heard a noise in the bathroom, which he believed to be an intruder.

The prosecution have tried to characterise Mr Pistorius as a “hothead”, while his defence team have portrayed him as having a heightened response to perceived danger because of his disability and background.

In July, a psychiatric report requested by the judge said Mr Pistorius had post-traumatic stress disorder but no mental illness that could prevent him being held criminally responsible for his actions.

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