PRETORIA: A South African court on Tuesday postponed until August 19 the pre-trial hearing of Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with murder, to give police time to wrap up their probe into his Valentines’ Day shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Magistrate Daniel Thulare also extended bail for Pistorius, South Africa’s Paralympic sprint star.
The prosecution has accused the 26-year-old of premeditated murder, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
But the athlete claims he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder in a “terrible accident” and the defense wants the charge reduced to culpable homicide, which risks up to 15 years behind bars.
Steenkamp, 29, who had been dating Pistorius for just a few months, suffered gunshot wounds to her head, elbow and hip.
The case is bound to be one of the country’s most sensational trials, similar to that of American footballer and actor O.J Simpson who was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife in 1994.