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Judgment: Pistorius trial to be broadcast live

Judge Dunstan Mlambo has permitted small, unmanned spy cameras to be fitted in the courtroom.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius during his court appearance at the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 19 August 2013: Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria is handing down its ruling on an application by several media houses to televise the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo said the murder trial may be broadcast in part.

This means only sections may be broadcast, with no extreme close ups, and the cameras must be remotely operated.

Also, certain witnesses may not be televised.

Mlambo has permitted small, unmanned spy cameras to be fitted in the courtroom.

He has also permitted media to set up equipment to obtain video and audio recordings of permitted portions of the trial.

The portions which may be broadcast include: audio of the entire trial, audio visuals of opening arguments, expert witness testimony, police officers, any other state witness unless they object, closing arguments, judgment and sentencing.

The Blade Runner shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria-East home on Valentine's Day, more than a year ago.

MultiChoice and Eyewitness News were among several groups that approached the court last week.

The trial starts Monday 3 March.

Mlambo has devoted a large part of his judgment so far to the fine balance between an accused's right to a fair trial and the freedom of expression enjoyed by the media.

He says the public and media interest in this case has been massive.

"One has to confront the elephant in the room and that is the right to a fair trial, which is invariably asserted against the former right. It is that situation that confronts us in this matter."

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