The murder trial of six-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been extended to May 16, the Pretoria court hearing the case announced today.
The extension, agreed by “all parties involved” according to the court, will see the trial enter its fourth week tomorrow and continue until April 4, before taking a week-long break and resuming on April 14 until May 16.
The trial of the South African double leg amputee, who has been charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 and contravening the Firearms Control Act, has already run over as it was initially set down from March 3 to 20 and then extended until April 4.
Pistorius’ lawyer, Brian Webber, admitted the athlete is having to sell the luxury mansion where he killed girlfriend Steenkamp to raise funds to cover his legal costs.
“This is due to the unexpected extension of the trial beyond the initial three-week period for which it was originally set down,” Webber said.
The trial has so far heard from only 18 witnesses out of a possible 107, with five more expected to be called by the prosecution this coming week.
The defence team says Pistorius himself is due to give evidence for the first time.
Pistorius, 27, denies intentionally fatally shooting Steenkamp and claims he mistook her for an intruder, but he could face life imprisonment if found guilty of murder.
This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.