NPA: Conditions on Pistorius trial broadcast

2014-02-19 07:21
Oscar Pistorius (File, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority had a number of conditions should media houses broadcast Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.

However, the NPA would not say what these conditions were.

The North Gauteng High Court will on Wednesday hear an application by media houses to broadcast the trial.

The application is being brought by news channel eNCA who is being joined in its bid by MultiChoice and Eyewitness News.

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming trial will reportedly be launched on DStv a day before the star athlete goes on trial.

MultiChoice and EWN said it was proposing permission to use unmanned, remote controlled high definition cameras which would feed to all broadcasters, if the application was successful.

‘Broadcast can help audiences understand’

The NPA said it would not oppose the application.

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

It was not immediately clear if Pistorius's legal team would oppose the application.

"With the advent of social media networks it is now possible to offer real-time updates from the courtroom, which effectively amounts to live coverage albeit in a printed form," eNCA told News24.

"It is our view that micro-blogging is prone to inaccurate reporting, sensationalism and lacks context or nuance, while a broadcast of events can help audiences understand exactly what is being said and the tone in which testimony is delivered.

"The court will have to consider the need for openness and transparency in the justice system with the defendant's right to a fair trial," says eNCA.

"We will argue that a balance can be struck with the courts in order to achieve both. eNCA will comment further after the application is heard. It is unclear when the High Court will rule on the matter."

- SAPA

Read more on:    enca  |  npa  |  multichoice  |  oscar pistorius  |  reeva steenkamp  |  media  |  pistorius trial
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