Pistorius lawyer: Pathologist to open defense case

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Photo - Oscar Pistorius, left, leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 28, 2014. The murder trial of Pistorius has been delayed until April 7 because one of the legal experts who will assist the judge in reaching a verdict is sick, the judge said Friday. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Oscar Pistorius, left, leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 28, 2014. The murder trial of Pistorius has been delayed until April 7 because one of the legal experts who will assist the judge in reaching a verdict is sick, the judge said Friday. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius' lawyer says a pathologist will likely testify first when the double-amputee athlete's defense team starts calling witnesses at his murder trial next week.

Lawyer Brian Webber said in an email to The Associated Press that the defense plans to start by calling Prof. Jan Botha when the trial resumes Monday after a week's adjournment.

Pistorius was expected to open defense testimony but Botha will likely be called first because Webber said the pathologist has some "personal difficulties."

In South Africa, defendants who indicate they will testify are expected to go first.

Pistorius and his lawyers say he will testify and explain in court how he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by accident on Valentine's Day last year. Prosecutors have charged him with premeditated murder.

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