Oscar Pistorius murder trial begins

6:36 AM, Mar 3, 2014   |    comments
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Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on Feb. 19, 2013. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Olympian Oscar Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend -- the model Reeva Steencamp -- at a trial in a Pretoria courtroom that started Monday for one of South Africa's most famous sons.

PHOTOS | Oscar Pistorius

The trial started 90 minutes late with Pistorius pleading not guilty to all four charges against him: murder, two charges relating to discharge of firearm in a public place and one charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

Pistorius arrived at the high court in Pretoria wearing a dark gray suit and black tie. Before the trial started he walked past the victim's mother who says she came to court so she can "really look him in the eyes."

Pistorius, 27, a former Olympian and double amputee called "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, goes on trial in North Gauteng High Court. He is charged with shooting his girlfriend four times through a toilet door with a 9mm gun, killing her on Valentine's Day 2013. He told police he believed she was an intruder.

The delay was caused by a problem with one of the Afrikaans language interpreters, the court official said. Also, a woman attempted to intervene in the court proceedings saying she knew Pistorius' late mother, Sheila, and had knowledge of Pistorius' character. The woman said she wanted to speak to the judge, but was escorted out of court by officials and two policemen.

Parts of the trial will be broadcast on live television, both in South Africa and across the world.

Until last week, it was not clear if the trial would be broadcast at all, and if so, who would be allowed to air it.

Pistorius' legal team had argued that TV cameras would be a "potentially distracting feature" to witnesses and interfere with his right to a fair trial. But a judge ruled television cameras will be allowed, although some of the proceedings will only be broadcast via audio.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks. He is free on bail.


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