Oscar Trial 26.2.2014 09:30 am

Pistorius order protects rights – law firm

Oscar Pistorius at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria. Picture: AFP

Oscar Pistorius at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria. Picture: AFP

The ruling by Judge Dunstan Mlambo allowing the media to broadcast parts of the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius does protect rights, law firm Webber Wentzel said on Wednesday.

“Judge Mlambo had to balance two important constitutional rights — the right to a fair trial for both Pistorius and the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority]… and on the other hand, the right to open justice,” Dario Milo, who acted for MultiChoice and EyewitnessNews in the application, said in a statement.

“His order neatly protects both rights, while not undermining either.”

The statement on behalf of Webber Wentzel was issued by Atmosphere Communications.

The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday gave media houses the nod for full audio and partial television broadcasts of the three-week trial, which starts on Monday.

The ruling was made following an application brought by news channel eNCA, and joined by MultiChoice and Eyewitness News.

Mlambo said MultiChoice and Primedia were permitted to broadcast the audio recording of the entire trial in live transmissions, delayed broadcasts or extracts of the proceedings.

Regarding television coverage, media houses could only broadcast opening arguments, any interlocutory applications during the trial, the evidence of all experts called to give evidence for the State, but excluding evidence of Pistorius and his witnesses.

Closing arguments of both the State and Pistorius, delivery of the judgment and the sentence, if applicable, could be also televised.

Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

– Sapa

 

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