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Oscar Pretorious Pretender or Murderer - Trial of the Blade Runner begins today

08.45 Family and friends wait patiently for the trial, which is now running 45 minutes late:

Relatives of Oscar Pistorius wait inside the court prior to the start of his trial

08.40 Pictures of the scene were leaked to Sky News last year, including images of the bloody bathroom where he shot his lover, Reeva. WARNING GRAPHIC:

08.39 Apparently the reason for the hold-up is the court looking for an Afrikaans translator.

08.33 A clearer today picture of Pistorius. Looks like he's caught a bit of sun. He went back to track training a couple of months after the killing last year.

08.25 Aislinn Laing, our correspondent in court, has the latest on the delays.

 Morning from a sweltering Court GD of Pretoria High Court where we're waiting for the judge to arrive. She's a little late - 15 minutes to be exact.

Oscar Pistorius, who's dressed in a black suit, white shirt and black tie, is here looking sharp-eyed and eager to get going. He strode into court looking confident through a battery of photographers and TV cameras with what appeared to be a bodyguard behind him holding on to the back of his suit.

He's had a series of pep-talks from his lawyers, including a determined-looking Barry Roux, the lead defence barrister. Behind him are his siblings Carl and Aimee, who have been greeting reporters, his uncle Arnold, the de facto head of the family with whom he lives, and assorted uncles, aunts and cousins - around 12 in all.

The couple in happier times, at a party in Johannesburg in January last year

To the right of them on the same bench at the Steenkamp contingent, also numbering around 12 and led by Reeva's mother June, who came in to court quite early in a sober dark suit, looking understandably on edge. No greetings exchanged between the two camps - it's the first time that Oscar has seen his former girlfriend's mother.

Behind the family are around 100 journalists - more have been let in than were accredited in the end. At this stage, little else to report. Family and reporters are eyeing each other up with mutual trepidation. And all eyes are on the judge's door.

Team Telegraph, Aislinn Laing and Erin Conway-Smith, are on the front row and will be tweeting furiously to keep you updated.

08.17 If the state succeeds in convincing Judge Thokozile Masipa of intent to kill, Pistorius will go to prison for life, in all likelihood a minimum of 25 years behind bars.

Besides the murder charge, Pistorius has already admitted to culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, a crime that could see him put away for 15 years - or he could leave the Pretoria High Court a free man, with no more than a slap on the wrist and a suspended sentence.

Pistorious is pictured shooting targets and a watermelon using what is thought to be the same killed used to kill his girlfriend

08.15 Barring a last-minute change of heart, Pistorius, who appeared in court in a dark suit with a white shirt and tie, will enter a plea of "not guilty".

Prosecutors will seek to prove that Pistorius - known as "Blade Runner" after his carbon-fibre running prosthetics - fired four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through the door of the toilet adjoining the bedroom of his luxury Pretoria home in a deliberate attempt to kill whoever was behind it.

08.09 The case is yet to start, and does not look anywhere near ready to, according to reporters in court. The case, once it does begin, is expected to last three weeks, and there are a 107 witnesses listed to give evidence.

The Steenkamp family sit united in court

08.00 This is a big day for South Africa, with some calling it the country's OJ Simpson. It is also their first televised trial.

08.00 Aislinn Laing, our correspondent in court, says Pistorius is having a last-minute team talk from a determined-looking Barry Roux, his defence barrister, who grasps his hand before walking off.

07.48 Oscar has just arrived, cutting it fine with just 13 minutes to go before the start of the case, which is being heard in courtroom GD. He walked straight past June Steenkamp and is now sipping water and looking composed, according to people in the courtroom.

07.38 Reeva's mother June, who has just arrived in court after travelling from her home in Port Elizabeth. said in a recent interview that she wanted Oscar to "look her in the eye" during the trial. She has come done alone as her husband Barry is too ill to travel after a stroke.

June, 67, said in the interview:

QuoteI want to look at Oscar, really look him in the eyes, and see for myself the truth about what he did to Reeva. Whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him ... But first I want to force him to look at me, Reeva's mother, and see the pain and anguish he has inflicted on me. I feel I need that.

07.28 Carl Pistorius, Oscar's older brother has tweeted this morning, quoting JRR Tolkien:

07.20 The trial judge last week ruled that the trial will be televised, well, parts of it at least. His evidence, plus witnesses' evidence, plus the opening and closing statements. There have been very few such high-profile court cases broadcast.

Some of the most famous televised court cases includes: Amanda Knox, OJ Simpson, Dr Conrad Murray, Anders Behring Breivik and Louise Woodward

07.17 Family members and friends of both Oscar and Reeva are slowly making their way into court for what will surely be a difficult day for everyone.

07.07 We are hearing Reeva Steenkamp's family have just walked into court, where they will face their daughter's killer for the first time since the incident last year on Valentine's Day. The trial is due to start at 10am SAST, or 8am GMT.

File photo from AFP

07.06 Phones are allowed in court, so we will be picking up all tweets and messages from those reporting inside, including our reporters Aislinn Laing and Erin Conway Smith.

07.05 There is already quite a media scrum outside and inside the courtroom juding by this picture taken by journalist Barry Bateman, Eyewitness News reporter and co-author on working title, Behind The Door: the Oscar and Reeva Story.

07.03 With no eyewitnesses other than Pistorius himself to the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp, experts say the case will be decided by forensic evidence and its interpretation by each side

 Aislinn Laing, our correspondent in the Pretoria courtroom, says:

With no eyewitnesses to what happened, said Professor Stephen Tuson, a criminal law expert at Wits University, there would be a "forensic battleground" between each side's experts.

"The prosecution will have to rely on forensic evidence collected at the scene to test the truth of his version as to the actual circumstances surrounding the shooting," he said.

"Evidence such as blood, bullet holes, cartridge cases, blood spatter, [text] messages sent and received, the time they were sent, which phone they were sent from."

07.02 Oscar Pistorius's fate will pivot around three key figures.

1. Judge Thokozile Masipa - the female high court judge preciding over the case. Mrs Masipa is regarded in legal circles as likeable, eloquent and considered. She has appointed two assessors to help her shoulder the weight of responsibility for the high-profile case. She will have to ask herself three key questions: Did the couple argue on the night of the shooting? Why did Pistorius not call the police? Did the police irreparably taint the crime scene?

2. Barry Roux - Pistorius' lead defence lawyer is a seasoned courtroom brawler who made mincemeat of Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in this case, during cross-examination of his evidence to the bail hearing.

3. Gerrie Nel - the state's lead prosecutor is said to have something of a Midas touch and has taken some high-profile scalps during his 30 years in the legal profession.

Oscar Pistorius with Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in 2012

07.00 Good morning, and welcome to The Telegraph's live coverage of the trial of Oscar Pistorius.

Pistorius, 27, is accused of shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

He denies all charges.

The last we heard from him was this statement on his website, issued to mark the anniversary of her death.

No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love Reeva.

The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva’s parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow.

The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

- Oscar

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