Pistorius broadcast trial ruling - as it happened

2014-02-25 10:16
Pistorius media

Pistorius media

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It is likely to be the biggest trial of the year and media houses are hoping that they will be able to broadcast it.

The North Gauteng High Court will rule on Tuesday on whether MultiChoice, Eyewitness News and eNCA can show Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial.

12:33 - So that's that. Stay with News24 though for continued Pistorius trial coverage (and we have other news too. Promise!). Cheers for now. 

12:27 - And so the Oscar Trial Channel tweets: Tune into @DStv channel 199 from 8pm Sunday night, March 2 for 24 hour updates on #OscarTrial199. You have the right to see it all.

12:23 -  It's also been ordered that the audio, visual and stills be made available to anybody who requests them FREE of charge.

12:21 - Now remains to be seen whether Pistorius's team will appeal ruling. 

12:20 -  Where concerns raised about video coverage, final authority rests with presiding judge.

12:19 - MultiChoice's Oscar Channel producer George Mazarakis is happy: "Thrilled the SA judiciary has matured to this groundbreaking decision. It is a seminal moment".

12:18 - No extreme c,lose-ups. Flash photography not allowed. No cabling on floor of courtroom. 

12:17 - Print media allowed to obtain still photographs of trial. Two cameras allowed.

12:16 - Mlambo allows broadcast of opening argument for state and defense, expert evidence , testimony of police, all consenting state witnesses

12:14 - Media application approved. Pistorius murder trial to be televised in part and with conditions. No close ups, recording of private conversations

12:13 - Mlambo permits the small, unmanned spy cameras to be fitted to the courtroom. The cameras will be installed where they will not interfere with proceedings.

12:13 - No recordings of personal legal discussions. No recordings when court not in session.

12:12 - Mlambo allowing broadcast in limited form. 

12:12 - Mlambo: Allowing people first-hand account will go a long way in dispelling perceptions

12:11 - Mlambo says broadcast of "celebrity" trial may go a long way to address misconceptions re justice system.

12:09 - There is only one court that will have the duty to (deliver a judgment). Not media / panels of experts.

12:08 - Mlambo: Audio coverage doesn't carry the intrusive potential that audiovisual does. There is merit in concerns raised about witnesses giving testimony, audio shouldn't hinder testimony.

12:07 - Mlambo: The objections raised by Pistorius to audio visual broadcast cannot be taken lightly.

12:06 Freedom of expression right comes into sharp focus in this particular matter. 

12:05 - Mlambo calls concept of open justice a noble notion. Mlambo: Court proceedings are public. Transparency and accountability.

12:04 - Mlambo: merit to media argument that, if Pistorius objections upheld, it'll mean only small minority have direct access to trial. Mlambo:  "Court proceedings are in fact public."

12:03 - Judge Mlambo: I have found merit in the argument of the applicant...

12:02 - Mlambo has raised concerns around how footage might unwittingly be manipulated in edited form.

12:01 - Mlambo: Visual and audio recordings can be edited and therefore distorted.

11:59 - Mlambo: Broadcasting has to cause distortion of facts. 

11:58 - Mlambo says point of departure was to properly consider Oscar's objections.

11:57 - Mlambo emphasises a court must engage in a balancing act to ensure interests of Justice are served.

11:55 - Mlambo : Section 173 of Constitution allows courts to regulate own processes. Overreaching objective is interests of justice

11:54 - Courts must ensure that primarily their proceedings are fair - Mlambo. 

11:53 - For me a clear contestation of rights, says Mlambo. 

11:53 - Pistorius argues broadcast of witness evidence may allow tailoring of evidence, fabrication, adaption.

11:51 - Mlambo: Pistorius argues that broadcasting the trial will infringe upon his right to a fair trial. Audiovisual recording will inhibit him and witnesses. When considering issues of freedom of expression, one must confront elephant in the room: right to a fair trial

11:50 - Clash of rights featured prominently in previous cases, says Mlambo.

11:49 - Mlambo mentions Hansie Cronje inquiry case where radio allowed; Mark Thatcher civil case where limited broadcasting allowed. Mlambo says he is "bound" by earlier court judgments.

11:47 - Mlambo cites another case involving media. 

11:46 - Freedom of expression lies at the heart of a democracy - Mlambo

11:45 - Mlambo: Applicants made the point that OP's bail application attracted international media attention.

11:43 - Mlambo makes minor order to consolidate three broadcast and print applications into one. "The applicants believe that the heightened attention to this case be accommodated."

11:42 - Judge: Application brings into sharp focus role of media and functioning of criminal Justice system. Reading a judgement he says was made in haste.

11:40 - Mlambo speaks of the night of Reeva's death. He says there are several issues to consider on whether to allow broadcast: right to fair trial, freedom of expression and the principle of open justice.

11:40 - Mlambo moves on to his judgment. 

11:39 - Judge Mlambo has dismissed Annemarie's application. Tells her she is wasting the court’s time. “I have heard you,” he repeats.

11:36 - Annemarie is speaking now. She looks very serious. She says she feels that she was treated poorly by the media when she appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court. She's telling judge she doesn't have surname and insists that she's a "victims of the press".

11:33 - Annemarie's last-minute application might hold up the judgment though. "I doubt the judge will entertain her," reckons Barry Bateman.

11:22 - At last year's bail hearing, Annemarie claimed Pistorius’s dead biological mother came to her in a dream and asked her to help her son.Get the full, whacky story here. Barry Bateman says she's got a document signed “Annamarie Last Name (Surname) in USA and State of Florida unconstitutional limbo…"

11:13 - "Remember that woman who tried to have Oscar committed during the bail app? She’s back," tweets Eyewitness News's Barry Bateman. This could get interesting... 

Annemarie, who doesn’t have a surname because it was “arbitrarily taken” from her, is launching an application, says Bateman. She's opposing the application to broadcast, Bateman says, because she is a "personal victims of rights violations by the media". Yeah, she's a bit... not normal.

11:07 - Lawyers are in court.  Barry Roux and attorney Brian Webber not attending. A junior advocate is at the court to note judgment, tweets eNCA reporter Karyn Maughan.

10:56 - 

10:50 - Meanwhile, Pistorius's public relations team has also created a new Twitter account in which they claim they will reveal the truth surrounding the trial, according to reports. The handle is @OscarHardTruth.

They tweeted: “For the truths behind the Trial, Follow @OscarHardTruth. They will uncover the truth, the trial and those involved.” Pistorius has also endorsed the account.

10:42 - Spending money on opposing a court application for live broadcasts of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial will be futile, the NPA said last week. 

"We do not want our witnesses to be intimidated. We do not want them to be exposed if they don't want. All of that was addressed by the technology which MultiChoice brought and some concessions that were made.

"I don't know if it makes good sense to the public to say 'we want to [use] taxpayers' money to oppose the application of a person we as NPA are charging'. It doesn't make sense, we would rather focus on the criminal case we are pursuing."

10:28 - Whether or not media houses get the broadcast rights, you can still get ALL the coverage on Oscar Pistorius here. For instance, find out more about the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, Pistoriu's lawyer, Barry Roux and the case's top investigator, Lieutenant-General Vineshkumar Moonoo, 

10:13 - Some court officials say they 'can't wait' to see themselves on TV, tweets.

Read more on:    enca  |  eyewitness news  |  multichoice  |  oscar pistorius  |  media  |  pistorius trial

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