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Pistorius wants an out-of-court deal, report says

By Agence France-Presse in Johannesburg | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-21 07:37

South Africa's Paralympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius has launched an attempt to negotiate an out-of-court deal to pay damages to the parents of his lover whom he killed on Valentine's Day, a local newspaper said on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Pistorius, who goes on trial in March on murder charges for fatally shooting Reeva Steenkamp, are mulling a settlement for loss of income and emotional stress, The Times reported.

They want the matter settled before the trial opens on March 3 next year.

The paper said Pistorius' lawyer Kenny Oldwage has confirmed that they are in discussions with the Steenkamp family.

But Oldwage said, "I am not aware of these discussions and I can't comment."

Steenkamp and her half-brother had financially supported their parents, who are pensioners. The support included paying rent for their house in the southern coastal city of Port Elizabeth.

The parents are reportedly planning to lodge a civil suit claiming 3 million rand ($300,000) in damages.

The 26-year-old Pistorius wept and prayed in court on Monday before being served with his indictment and given his trial date.

Steenkamp, a blonde cover girl and law graduate who would have turned 30 on Monday, died in the bathroom of Pistorius' upmarket Pretoria home early on Feb 14.

The double amputee athlete known as "Blade Runner", who is out on bail, has admitted killing Steenkamp but denied murder, saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door because he believed she was an intruder.

Prosecutors will argue he is guilty of premeditated murder.

(China Daily 08/21/2013 page10)

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