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Oscar Pistorius trial delayed by judge’s aide’s illness

Mar 28, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

Oscar Pistorius AP

The anticipation of Oscar Pistorius potentially taking the stand at his murder trial Friday was quickly erased.

The judge announced a postponement until April 7 shortly after the day’s session was to start, citing an illness afflicting one of her assistants.

“One of my assessors is not well, so this court is not properly constituted,” Thokozile Masipa said, according to The Associated Press. “I suggest that we postpone this matter until the seventh of April.”

Masipa has two court assessors who assist her at the trial. The judge will render a verdict at the conclusion of the trial with their help, as South Africa does not have a jury system.

Pistorius is expected to testify shortly after the trial resumes, but he won’t be the first witness for the defense, according to Sky News. The prosecution wrapped its case Tuesday.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, is on trial for charges including the premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.

He could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. He said he shot four times through a door, hitting and killing Steenkamp, thinking there was an intruder locked in his bathroom on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the Pistorius trial.

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