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Oscar broadcast ruling sets precedent

Portions of proceedings may be broadcast in video format while audio will be allowed for the entire trial.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius appears in the Pretoria Magistrates Court, 4 June 2013. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - The high court in Pretoria on Tuesday delivered a precedent-setting judgment by allowing Oscar Pistorius's murder trial to be broadcast live.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo delivered his judgment a short while ago following an application brought last week by several media houses, including MultiChoice and Eyewitness News .

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius and Steenkamp at the Feather Awards, 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

He claims the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, but the state will argue it was murder.

The 'Blade Runner' is also facing other charges relating to firearms.

CONDITIONS

Mlambo pointed out that his ruling comes with certain limitations.

Only portions of proceedings may be broadcast in video format while the entire trial is allowed to be broadcast in audio.

The judge allowed the use of three small, unmanned spy cameras in the courtroom.

Portions which may be filmed include opening arguments, expert witness testimony, police officers, any other state witness unless they object, closing arguments, judgment and sentencing.

Extreme close ups will not be allowed and the cameras must be remotely operated, Mlambo ruled.

Certain witnesses may not be televised.

The live feed must be provided to any interested party free of charge, opening the way for this case to be viewed live around the world.

Pistorius' legal team said they would study the judgement.

They gave no indication as to whether they would appeal at this stage.

Mlambo used part of his judgment to address the fine balance between an accused's right to a fair trial and the freedom of expression enjoyed by the media.

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

The trial starts on Monday.

Pistorius competes in the men's 400m Round 1 heats at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Picture: London2012.com.