Media 'harassing' witnesses in Pistorius trial

2014-03-02 07:24
Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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kalahari.com

Johannesburg - Some of the 107 State witnesses, including police officers, in the Oscar Pistorius murder case have complained of harassment at the hands of the international media who are accused of digging into their private lives.

According to the Sunday Times, one police officer said a number of state witnesses were upset at the antics of the press who have allegedly contacted family members in the hope of getting “dirt” on those expected to take to the stand in what is set to become a sensational trial.

The police officer raised questions however as to where the international media had obtained contact details of family members of these witnesses or whether they had secured the services of private detectives to track down the information. He also wondered whether it was a move on their part to rattle witnesses.

The world will be watching on Monday as Pistorius - once South Africa's golden boy - goes on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead in a toilet in Pistorius's Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. At his bail hearing, Pistorius's lawyer submitted he thought he was shooting an intruder.

Last week the North Gauteng High Court ruled that parts of the trial can be broadcast live on television, including opening and closing arguments and the evidence of all experts called to give evidence for the State. However, the evidence of Pistorius and his witnesses will not be broadcast.

Witnesses have at least 24 hours before taking the stand to object to audio-visual recording of their evidence.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  media  |  pistorius trial
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