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Verdict due in Pistorius murder trial


South Africa

Verdict due in Pistorius murder trial

Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has arrived at the High Court in Pretoria ahead of the verdict in his trial for the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

After 41 days of testimony and drama in the Pretoria High Court, judge Thokozile Masipa will deliver a verdict, which can range from convictions for premeditated murder to acquittal. Before reading the verdict however, she will summarise the testimonies of the 37 witnesses called to the stand, meaning Pistorius may have to wait until Thursday afternoon or even Friday morning before learning his fate.

The prosecution says Pistorius deliberately shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, February 2013, after a heated row.

He has pleaded not guilty, saying he heard a noise coming from the bathroom and took his gun to investigate, fearing there was an intruder.

He also denies the couple had an argument that night.

If convicted of pre-meditated murder, Pistorius could face life in prison.

If he is cleared of murder, under South African law, the judge must then consider whether he is guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, a verdict which could carry a 15 year jail term.

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