10 March 2014

South Africa: State Does Not Want Public Post Mortem

Pretoria — The State on Monday asked to make a special application that graphic forensic evidence on Reeva Steenkamp's injuries not be broadcast in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel made the application as professor Gert Saayman took the witness stand to testify on the pathological findings on Steenkamp who was shot in the arm, head and thigh by Pistorius on February 14, 2013.

"The professor will give evidence on the graphic nature of the injuries," said Nel to Judge Thokozile Masipa.

He said the application to not broadcast the evidence was not about press freedom, but to respect the dignity of Steenkamp and her family and friends.

He said the defence supported the application that the audio was not "sent into the whole wide world".

Pistorius laced his fingers behind his neck and bowed his head and pulled his body down while this exchange took place.

His counsel Barry Roux said: "We don't believe that the public interest should be more important in this case."

The media's lawyers would be part of the submission and court adjourned for them to arrive.

It was not yet clear how the application would affect media in the court.

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