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Final arguments begin in Pistorius murder trial

Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius arrives for the closing arguments of his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria August 7, 2014. Pistorius is accused of killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

PRETORIA: South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius returned to the dock Thursday to hear concluding arguments in his murder trial, with the star sprinter facing life in prison if found guilty.

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel opened proceedings, setting out the state's case that Pistorius deliberately murdered his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.

Pistorius, who denies the charge, appeared at the Pretoria High Court wearing glasses and a dark suit, clenching his jaw as he sat in the dock.

Thursday saw Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, and Henke Pistorius, Oscar's father, make their first appearances in court as the five-month emotion-filled trial reaches its finale.

The court fell silent as Barry entered and Henke hugged his daughter Aimee before taking a seat in the first row of the public gallery behind his son.

Pistorius's murder trial began in March and his handpicked team of lawyers have claimed he shot Reeva Steenkamp by accident, believing her to be an intruder.

 

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