Oscar Pistorius court concerned over ‘trial by media’ in Reeva Steenkamp murder case
The magistrate presiding over the latest hearing in the Oscar Pistorius murder investigation has expressed concern over a ‘trial by media’ for the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, as the case was adjourned until August.
Magistrate Daniel Thulare echoed the sentiments of both counsels by saying he is ‘a little bit concerned’ about the extent of media activities surrounding the death of Reeva Steenkamp, with regards to the administration of justice.
The double-amputee, known as the Blade Runner, appeared at Pretoria magistrates’ court for a brief procedural hearing, where a date for another hearing was set – August 19th.
Although earlier reports suggested he had grown a beard since his last public appearance, Pistorius was clean shaven as he attended the ten-minute court appointment.
He briefly greeted his sister Aimee as he entered the room, which was packed with photographers.
It is thought the trial itself – into whether Pistorius is guilty of the pre-meditated murder of his girlfriend during the early hours of Valentine’s Day – will not begin until next year. Pistorius maintains that he mistook her for an intruder.
At court, Pistorius’s advocate Barry Roux admitted he is ‘worried’ about the extent of intrusion by the press, adding: ‘It would appear that there is a trial by media of Oscar Pistorius.’
The remarks could be seen to refer to the publication of images from the athlete’s blood-stained bathroom, taken after Pistorius, 26, apparently shot Miss Steenkamp, 29, through a closed door.
Pistorius’ appearance in court was only his second in public since the incident earlier this year. He has been holed up at his uncle’s house in Pretoria to escape the public glare.
‘He’s housebound, you know. He doesn’t go out in public places,’ Arnold Pistorius told CNN.
Pistorius’ court date comes after a documentary featuring the parents of Miss Steenkamp was shown on UK television last night.
In it Barry and June Steenkamp pleaded for the South African justice system to reveal what really happened on the evening their daughter lost her life.