Crucial Evidence in Pistorius Case: Reeva's Clothes
High-profile trial in South Africa begins Monday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2014 6:04 AM CST
This Nov. 4, 2012, photo shows Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp in Johannesburg, South Africa.   (AP Photo/City Press, Lucky Nxumalo)

(Newser) – The Oscar Pistorius murder trial begins Monday in South Africa, and NBC reports that prosecutors think victim Reeva Steenkamp's clothes will help them score a conviction. She was wearing a black top and white shorts when Pistorius shot her through the bathroom door in the middle of the night. That is, she wasn't wearing pajamas or sleepwear, and prosecutors say that contradicts Pistorius' claim that they had been sleeping when she got up to use the bathroom. He says he mistook her for an intruder, but prosecutors say she was trying to escape a violent argument.

"We believe that Reeva was probably running away and she locked herself in the bathroom," says a spokesperson for the prosecution team. "There is a piece of evidence around the clothes that could suggest what happened there," says another spokesperson. "To disclose it now would be to disclose a lot of our thinking around the case before the time." Come Monday, expect OJ-level coverage from the world media and liberal use of the phrase "trial of the century." Parts will be televised live in South Africa, and Voice of America notes that one station is launching a 24-hour channel devoted to coverage. The non-jury trial is expected to last months, and a key question is whether it will be a fair one given the "circus" atmosphere, reports the Guardian.