Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympian gold medalist, has enlisted U.S. investigators to assist the legal team that is defending him against charges of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, his spokeswoman said.
Pistorius is due to stand trial in the North Gauteng High Court in March next year for shooting the model and reality television star at his Pretoria home on Feb. 14. The athlete, who has been free on 1 million rand ($100,000) bail, says he mistook her for an intruder.
“I can confirm that a team of forensic specialists from the United States is in the country at the moment working with Oscar’s defense team,” spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said today by phone from the southeastern South African city of East London. “We don’t want to go into any further details except that its very standard practice to work with specialists in various fields in preparation for any trial.”
Steenkamp, then 29 years old, locked herself in a toilet cubicle, and Pistorius, armed with a 9mm pistol, fired four shots at her through the locked door, according to his indictment. The cause of death was given as multiple gunshot wounds.
Known as Blade Runner for the prosthetics he wore to race, Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and in 2012 became the first amputee runner to compete in an Olympic Games. He was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old.
Sponsors including Nike Inc., the world’s largest sporting-goods company, and Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley have ended deals with Pistorius since his arrest.