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Final Oscar arguments set for Aug 7

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Final arguments in Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial will be heard on August 7, the High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday after the defence closed its case.

“No heads of argument can be published in print or electronic media until the commencement of the arguments in court,” Judge Thokozile Masipa said.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel made the application to prevent publication after the defence closed its case.

Masipa said the broadcast or publication of such documents, before they had been heard in court, was theft.

“I am concerned about what you are saying… it has happened before, it is theft actually. It is a disservice for the justice system,” Masipa said.

Nel said the State would file its closing arguments on July 30. The defence, led by Barry Roux, would file its papers on August 4.

The court would hear the arguments on August 7.

The paralympian is on trial for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

He claims he shot her by accident through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home, thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. The State contends he killed her during an argument.

Pistorius underwent a month-long psychiatric evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, after which the court heard he did not suffer from general anxiety disorder. SAPA

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