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Carl Pistorius watches as his brother, Olympian Oscar Pistorius, appears in court in on Friday. The Olympian faces premeditated murder charge in the death of his girlfriend. / Themba Hadebe, AP

The family of South African Paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius said Sunday that his older brother, Carl, is facing a charge of culpable homicide related to a 2008 road crash, and that the charge will be vigorously contested.

The legal problems of Carl Pistorius came to light days after a judge granted bail to Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee dubbed the "blade runner" for the carbon-fiber legs on which he runs.

Lawyer Kenny Oldwage said in a statement issued by public relations firm Vuma Reputation Management that Carl had been involved in a crash "in which a woman motorcyclist sadly lost her life." He said "there is no doubt that Carl is innocent and the charge will be challenged in court."

"Following the accident culpable homicide charges were brought against Carl Pistorius, but the charges were later withdrawn by the state," he said. The National Prosecuting Authority's deputy public prosecutor later reinstated the charges.

E-News Channel Africa reported that the case was provisionally withdrawn but was reinstated "under pressure from the woman's family" who claimed there was evidence of negligence on the part of Carl Pistorius.

"Carl deeply regrets the accident," Oldwage said, adding that the motorcyclist collided with Carl's car. The crash took place in Vanderbijlpark, an hour's drive south of Johannesburg.

Blood tests conducted by the police at the time proved that Carl Pistorius had not been under the influence of alcohol, South Africa's Mail and Guardian Online reported. The website said Carl Pistorius appeared in court Thursday, the day before bail was granted to his brother, but that Carl's trial was postponed until March.

Oscar Pistorius, 26, is charged with murder after shooting his model-girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, through the bathroom door of his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day. He admits shooting Steenkamp but denies murder, saying he mistook her for an intruder. His next court date is scheduled for June 4.

On Monday, Oscar Pistorius must sign in at a suburban Pretoria police station, a twice-weekly ritual to fulfill part of his bail conditions. Pistorius is staying at his uncle's villa in the Waterkloof, also in suburban Pretoria.

On Sunday, a representative of the Pistorius family said two bouquets had been sent to Steenkamp's family the day before her funeral. One was from Oscar, the other from the Pistorius family. Both had handwritten notes, the BBC reported.

Steenkamp's mother, June, said she had received the flowers.

"But what does it mean?" she told BBC. "Nothing."

The Pritorius family has also struggled with social media. Family spokeswoman Janine Hills told the Mail and Guardian that Oscar's Twitter account was hacked.

"It is most unfortunate that during this sensitive time, someone would choose to hack into Oscar Pistorius' older brother Carl Pistorius' Twitter handle," Hills said.

The tweet, which read "Thank-you to every person that has prayed for both families, Osca" and had been posted under Carl's handle, has since been removed.

"Carl did not tweet this afternoon, out of respect to Oscar and Reeva (Steenkamp)," Hill said. She said the family has dropped all its Twitter accounts.

Oscar Pistorius was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect. His legs were amputated when he was 11 months old. He has run on carbon-fiber blades and was initially banned from competing against able-bodied peers because many argued that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. He was later cleared to compete.

He is a multiple Paralympic medalist, and won a silver medal at the 2011 Daegu world championships with South Africa's 4x400 relay team. He failed to medal at the London Olympics but ran in the 400-meter race and the 4x400 relay.

Contributing: Associated Press



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Pistorius' brother facing culpable homicide charge

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