Oscar Pistorius trial: All you need to know about the 'trial of the century'

A look at the accused, the key players and the timeline of events leading to the murder trial of the Olympic and Paralympic star

When South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in public on March 3, the spotlight will shine on him - but for unenviable reasons. The man known as the "Blade Runner" will stand in a Pretoria dock to face a charge of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day, 2013.

In what has been billed as the "trial of the century", prosecutors will seek to prove that the 27-year-old paralympian hero planned to kill his lover.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to compete at an able-bodied Olympics, fired four rounds from a 9mm pistol through a closed bathroom door in his Pretoria home. Ms Steenkamp, who was on the other side, was shot three times. She was declared dead on the scene. He claims her death was an accident.

The state is expected to show that the couple had relationship problems. Among those expected to testify are neighbours who heard fighting and screaming the night of the shooting.

The trial, which will open on Monday, is under intense media scrutiny and parts of it will be broadcast live. Pistorius faces at least 25 years in jail if convicted of premeditated murder.

In our backgrounders here, you can read our profile of Pistorius, as well as stories on the key players and the major moments leading to the trial. For the latest stories, please go to www.straitstimes.com/pistorius_trial


Background stories:

Timeline of events

A look back at the events following the Olympic and Paralympic star's fall from grace.

The key players

The important players in the trial that will open the decisive chapter in the story of the rise and fall of one of the world's most recognisable athletes.

The 'Blade Runner'

A champion athlete who beat the odds to inspire millions worldwide, or a disgraced hero with a penchant for guns, beautiful women and fast cars?

Related stories:

Three significant questions in Pistorius trial

As Oscar Pistorius' lawyers launched an aggressive defence on day one of his murder trial, tearing into a witness who said she heard "bloodcurdling screams" as his girlfriend was killed, three questions could be key to the trial.

Pistorius' lawyers tear into first witness

Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius launched an aggressive defence on day one of his murder trial, tearing into a witness who claimed to have heard screams as his girlfriend was killed.

Neighbour heard 'bloodcurdling screams'

The first witness in South African star athlete Oscar Pistorius's murder trial testified on Monday that she heard terrible screams coming from his home on the night of his girlfriend's death.

Pistorius pleads not guilty to murdering girlfriend

The trial of Olympian Oscar Pistorius began in Pretoria on Monday, with the star sprinter pleading not guilty to murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year.

Olympian sprinter comes face-to-face with mother of girlfriend he shot dead

Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes face-to-face for the first time on Monday with the mother of the girlfriend he shot dead.

Olympian on trial for murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius arrived at the Pretoria High Court on Monday for the start of his murder trial, opening a decisive chapter in the story of the rise and fall of one of the world's best-known athletes.

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