Oscar Pistorius: Magistrate concerned case will be ‘trial by media’

2013-06-04 11:05

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A Pretoria magistrate presiding over the Oscar Pistorius postponement had harsh words for the media this morning, saying he was concerned the matter was becoming a “trial by media”.

Magistrate Daniel Thulare raised the issue shortly after NPA Advocate Andrea Johnson asked for a postponement of the matter.

Thulare recommended that Johnson ask the “NPA to look into questions of whether anyone acts or omits to act in such a way that their conduct amounts either to scandalous conduct to court or to outright contempt of court.”

Thulare said it was expected of any person that had information about a crime to report such information to authorities.

Although Thulare did not refer to any specific media house, Sky News last week published what was reported to be crime scene photographs.

This sparked a flurry of debate about whether the publication of such photographs would affect the outcome of the trial.

Thulare said it was especially important for South Africans to rally around our constitutional order, which included the sanctity of the courts and respect for the rights of accused.

“We must all ensure that we all respect processes of the Republic of South Africa, in so far as it relates to the processes of determining guilt or not.

Thulare postponed the matter to August 19.

Pistorius, dressed in a dark suit and blue shirt, did not betray any emotion during the brief court appearance. Pistorius’ brother Carl and sister Aimee were once again there to support him.

Johnson told the court that the state was still finalising some aspects of the investigation.

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