Athletics - Judge rules Pistorius trial can be televised

A judge in South Africa has ruled that the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius can be televised when it begins next Monday.

Pistorius case - Police in 'race against time' to find 'critical' evidence

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Oscar Pistorius enters the dock at Pretoria Magistrates court June 4, 2013. (Reuters)

The trial of the Olympic and Paralympic running star, accused of murdering his model girlfriend, will start on March 3 and run until March 23.

There will however be some restrictions on the coverage and some witnesses may be allowed to opt out of being filmed.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo said: "The applicants ... are permitted to set up equipment in accordance to specifications ... to obtain a video and audio recording of the permitted portions."

Double-amputee Pistorius, 26 and known as "Blade Runner" for the prostheses he wears in competition, fired four shots at Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home in the early hours of the morning on Valentine's Day 2014.

Pistorius has admitted shooting Steenkamp several times through the bathroom door, but claims he was acting in self-defence after becoming convinced that an intruder had broken in to the house.

Pistorius has admitted to firing four shots at Steenkamp, 29, hitting her in the head, arm and hip.

South African police stumbled in their initial investigation and were forced to replace their lead detective when it emerged he was facing attempted murder charges for shooting at a minibus.

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In pre-trial testimony, Pistorius's lawyers told a magistrates' court the shooting had been a tragic mistake and the athlete was acting in self-defence against what he thought was an intruder.

Prosecutors accused him of premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp, a noted model and budding reality TV star.

Pistorius was one of the most celebrated athletes of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London, making the Olympic 400m semi-final and winning Paralympic gold over the same distance.

His arrest and subsequent murder charge a few months later shocked millions around the world.

In South Africa, his triumph over adversity made him a hero for both blacks and whites, transcending the racial divides that persist 20 years after the end of apartheid.

Pistorius has mostly kept out of the public eye since he secured bail

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