Judge allows partial Pistorius trial coverage

2014-02-25 12:20
Oscar Pistorius.  (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Pretoria - A judge has ruled that media houses are able to broadcast parts of the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court next week.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that audio recordings of all proceedings be allowed, and audiovisual images of only parts of the trial be allowed. This includes opening and closing arguments and evidence of experts, but excludes evidence of the accused and witnesses.

"It is ...in the public interest that, within allowance limits, the goings on during the trial be covered... to ensure a greater number of people in the community who are unable to attend the proceedings are able to follow wherever they may be," Mlambo ruled.

Reaction

MultiChoice's Oscar Channel producer George Mazarakis tweeted: "Thrilled the SA judiciary has matured to this ground breaking decision. It is a seminal moment".

"This is a great step forward," said eNCA group news editor Ben Said. "It is a very wide-ranging judgment, and a very important one."

MultiChoice, eNCA and Eyewitness News brought the application to the court last week.

Last week Frank Snyckers SC, for MultiChoice and Eyewitness News, told the court that media would use technologically advanced equipment that was not obtrusive and was controlled remotely. Snyckers said media houses had secured the National Prosecuting Authority's support.

Pistorius's legal team opposed the application arguing that broadcasting the events would lead to an unfair trial.

Barry Roux SC, for Pistorius, asked why his client's trial was not being treated like any other trial.

Pistorius is accused of killing Steenkamp, his girlfriend, in February last year. His trial is to be heard in the North Gauteng High Court from 3 to 20 March.

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the trial will be launched on DSTV on 2 March.

- News24 and Sapa

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  media  |  pistorius trial
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