Oscar Pistorius defence may use media attention as grounds for appeal – lawyer

2014-07-08 10:48

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The defence in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has closed its case, saying they were prevented from calling many witnesses because of the media frenzy surrounding the trial.

Shortly before closing the defence case, Advocate Barry Roux said he wanted to put it on record that “we were unable to call a number of witnesses who refused to testify [because they’re] protected against television but don’t want [their] voices broadcast across the world”.

Ulrich Roux, a criminal defence lawyer who has followed the case closely, told City Press that the defence may well use the fact that witnesses could not be called as grounds for an appeal of the case.

“It certainly sounds as if he could be moving in that direction; he won’t be able to raise it at this stage of the trial but it could be a ground of appeal.”

This means that Pistorius’ defence could possibly use the media attention the trial has generated as an escape avenue.

Closing arguments in the case will be heard on August 7 and 8.

Judge Thokozile Masipa has also ruled that the heads of argument, which the state and the defence will file at the end of July, cannot be published before closing arguments are heard.

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