The trial of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympian gold medalist who killed his model girlfriend, was postponed until Aug. 19 to give prosecutors and police more time to investigate.
Pretoria magistrate, Daniel Thulare, agreed to the request today that was backed by the athlete’s defense lawyer. Pistorius, wearing a gray suit and surrounded by family members, didn’t say anything during the 20-minute hearing.
Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner because of his prosthetic running blades, was released on 1 million rand ($100,000) bail on Feb. 22 after a four-day hearing. Prosecutors accuse him of deliberately shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, in a bathroom at his Pretoria home. The athlete says that he mistook her for an intruder.
At the next hearing, which falls on Steenkamp’s birthday, the magistrate will probably rule on when, and in which court, the trial will start, Medupe Simasiku, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told reporters outside the court.
Thulare said in court he was “concerned” by some reporting by international media, which threatened to “scandalize” the trial. He didn’t identify any news organizations.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc’s Sky News on May 31 showed images which it said were of the crime scene. One photo showed a blood-spattered toilet seat, surrounded by a pool of dried blood. Markers on the open bathroom door identified where the bullets had pierced it.
Pistorius, 26, was the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games, taking part at the London event last year. He was included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Pistorius, who won six Paralympic gold medals, was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old.
“We continue to have great faith in the South African legal justice system and believe that Oscar’s account of what happened on that terrible night in February will be borne out by the evidence that the defense team will lead in court,” Pistorius’s family said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Pistorius, who had his bail conditions eased to allow him to compete internationally, hasn’t resumed training, his agent Peet van Zyl said in April.
Nike Inc., the world’s largest sporting-goods company, Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley and Clarins SA’s Thierry Mugler perfume brand have all ended sponsorship deals with Pistorius since the shooting.