independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Payoff to family may hurt Pistorius

An out-of court settlement between Oscar Pistorius and the parents of slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp could work against the Olympic athlete
An out-of court settlement between Oscar Pistorius and the parents of slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp could work against the Olympic athlete

AN out-of-court settlement following months of negotiations between Oscar Pistorius's lawyers and representatives of the parents of his slain girlfriend could work against the Olympic athlete at his March murder trial, a legal expert said Thursday.

The two sides have been in talks since around August, the lawyer for Reeva Steenkamp's family told reporters and a settlement could involve Pistorius paying Steenkamp's family in the region of $275,000 (€200,781), according to media reports.

"Discussions are ongoing and clearly one would like to reach a settlement," said Pistorius's lawyer Brian Webber. "It's fair to say the negotiations have been going on for some time."

Pistorius family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said that "any dialogue between Oscar's lawyer and the Steenkamp family is a private matter and out of respect for Reeva's memory, we will not be commenting in any way on this."

Pistorius's trial is due to start on March 3, when South Africa's one-time sporting hero will face charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition, and also be indicted on two other charges relating to him allegedly shooting a gun recklessly on two separate occasions.

Irish Independent

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