South African Paralympics star Oscar Pistorius
, accused of shooting to death his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year,
could face new gun-related charges when his trial starts. The gun charges stem from allegations that happened before the slaying of Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius, 26, nicknamed the "Blade Runner" for the prostheses he wears in track competitions worldwide, will face two charges of firing a gun in a public space by South African prosecutors, according to The Mirror.
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"The new charges relate to the contravention of the Firearm Control Act, but I cannot go into the details," said Nathi Mncube, a spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority.
The trial is slated to start March 3.
The Associated Press
reported that prosecutors sought permission from the country's new National Director of Public Prosecutions to "centralize" all the charges so they all could be heard in the same trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
"The national director has indeed given them (prosecutors) that authority and they will be added," Mncube said. "They are not new charges, they were charges that already existed. They were just in a different jurisdiction."
Pistorius' lawyer Brian Webber told The Mirror he was aware of the new charges and declined additional comment.
Pistorius has vigorously fought the murder charges against him, claiming he accidently shot Steenkamp in self-defense through a bathroom door, mistaking her as an intruder in his home.
Prosecutors have claimed the murder was premeditated, arguing that Pistorius planned to kill her and did so after a loud argument in the middle of the night.
A double-amputee below his knees since he was one-years-old, born without fibulas, Pistorius became one of the world's best known Paralympic athletes for his running ability
. He became so accomplished that he competed against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 London Olympics in the 400-meter dash.
Pistorius' relationship with Steenkamp, a model and reality show star in South Africa, caused a media sensation.
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