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Report: Pistorius lawyers trying to negotiate settlement with Steenkamps

Aug 20, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

Oscar Pistorius Getty Images

Representatives of Oscar Pistorius‘ and Reeva Steenkamp‘s families have been in discussions, possibly to reach an out-of-court settlement of a potential civil suit to compensate Steenkamp’s parents after her death.

Prosecutors indicted Pistorius on a premeditated murder charge Monday. The criminal trial is scheduled to begin March 3.

A criminal trial conviction could also make him liable to a substantial civil suit by Steenkamp’s family, according to The Associated Press

A lawyer for the Steenkamp family said Monday that “the two sides are talking,” according to the AP, but declined further comment.

Pistorius’ lawyers are “desperately trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement,” according to The Times of South Africa. Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day but said he thought she was an intruder locked in a bathroom in his Pretoria home.

It has been widely reported Steenkamp used to financially assist her parents. The lawyers for the Steenkamps said the discussions between the camps are “intense.” Pistorius lawyer confirmed the discussions to the newspaper.

Pistorius’s lawyers want to settle the lawsuit before the outcome of the criminal trial, in an attempt to reduce a possible payout.

Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to compete in the Olympics when he ran the 400 meters and the 4×400 relay at the London Games last year.

Pistorius comment to BBC: ‘Not well’

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