OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL: Judgement day today


Thursday marks the highly-anticipated climax of the Oscar Pistorius trial that gripped the whole world over an on-off six-month trial that saw tears, charged cross examinations and gruesome testimonies in the Pretoria High Court.

Pistorius, one of the biggest names in athletics in recent history before the fall of his star, will learn today about his fate when Judge Thokozile Masipa hands down her verdict.

If Judge Msipa agrees with the state, which says that Pistorius murdered his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in anger, he faces a life term - effectively 25 years behind bars before being eligible for parole. A conviction of murder with less explicit intent could see him incarcerated for up to 20 years.

However, Masipa may reject intention but still hold culpable homicide for the reckless or negligent killing of Steenkamp. The judge may also accept Pistorius's assertion that he acted in 'putative' self-defence in a mistaken but genuine belief that an intruder was lurking behind his bathroom door.

Still, if Pistorius is convicted, sentencing is likely to be delayed to another hearing in a few weeks, during which time Pistorius can apply for bail and an appeal.

Photo caption: GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY... Oscar Pistorius knows his fate today. Image: NBCNews.