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Prosecutors finalise indictment for Pistorius trial

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Prosecutors said Tuesday they have finalised their case against Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with the Valentine's Day murder of his girlfriend.

Pistorius will return to court on Monday, the date his slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp would have turned 30.

"We have finalised the indictment, which contains a full list of the charges," said Bulelwa Makeke, the National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman. "It will be served on Monday."

The 26-year-old double amputee is charged with fatally shooting Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 through a locked bathroom door.

The star athlete claims he mistook her for an intruder, but prosecutors argue it was premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment.

Pistorius's lawyers want the charge reduced to culpable homicide.

Steenkamp, a model and law graduate who had been dating Pistorius for just a few months, suffered gunshot wounds to her head, elbow and hip.

British television channel Sky News has broadcast graphic leaked images of the blood-spattered bathroom where she was killed at her boyfriend's upmarket Pretoria home.

Monday's procedural hearing may finalise a start date for the trial, expected for early next year.

The Johannesburg-born Paralympic champion became an inspirational hero to millions as the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied competitors at the London Olympics last year.

His family said in June he had started training again for "mental and emotional equilibrium" after taking a break.

He is free pending trial on a one million rand ($100,000) bail.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130813/prosecutors-finalise-indictment-pistorius-trial