Pistorius hires forensic team from US

Oscar Pistorius, pictured at a hearing in February. Photo/ AP
Oscar Pistorius, pictured at a hearing in February. Photo/ AP

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has enlisted a team of forensic investigators from the United States for his murder trial which begins next year, his spokeswoman said.

The investigators will work with his legal team to beef up his defence against charges he murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14.

"A team of highly regarded forensics specialists from the US is currently in the country and working closely with Oscar's defence team," spokeswoman Annelise Burgess told AFP.

"It is standard practice, in the preparation for any trial, to work with specialists from a range of disciplines and fields, including forensics," she added.

The group completed a reconstruction of the murder scene in the early hours of Tuesday and attempted to match the evidence to Pistorius's version of events on the night of Steenkamp's death, South Africa's eNCA television reported.

They benefited from the co-operation of the South African police, who lent them the lavatory door through which the athlete famously fired shots on February 14.

The sprinter's trial is set for March 3 to 20 at the Pretoria High Court.

The double amputee athlete known as "Blade Runner" is currently out on bail.

He has admitted to killing Steenkamp but has denied murder, saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door because he thought she was an intruder.

The state charges she was murdered and that it was pre-meditated.

Questions have been repeatedly raised about the police's handling of the case and of forensic evidence, which is likely to be key given the lack of witnesses.

The killing sent shockwaves across South Africa and has drawn huge international interest.

- AFP

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