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Thursday, February 20, 2014
NPA denies leaking Pistorius documents
No fear No Favour No Horse Trading please.......
Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AP)
Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority on Friday denied leaking documents on paralympianOscar Pistorius's murder trial.
"We cannot make comments on something that we don't know, how it was leaked," said NPA spokesperson Medupi Simasiku.
"It was not leaked by us, and we don't know how it got in their [media houses] hands."
The NPA said it had not yet filed its replying documents to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Simasiku was reacting to different reports byEyewitness News (EWN) and eNCA based on documents in their possession.
EWN reported that the State would rely on 13 facts to prove the blade runner was guilty of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home last year. Pistorius said he thought she was an intruder.
EWN reported on Friday that statements from neighbours, forensic analysis of the scene, the post mortem report, and ballistic tests of the toilet door and firearm formed part of the 13 points the State would argue.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel would present five witnesses who heard screams which were "as described in the documents" extinguished at the same time as the gunshots, according to the broadcaster.
It said the State would argue that the amount, trajectory and grouping of the shots fired through a locked door could only indicate a direct intention to kill. Nel would argue that the athlete's actions that night were far removed from that of a person thinking there was a burglar in the house.
Pistorius likely on his stumps
eNCA reported that Pistorius was most likely on his stumps when he fired the shots, and this undermined the State's case that her killing was a premeditated murder.
The broadcaster reported that prosecutors claimed a year ago that he had put on his prosthetic legs, walked into his bathroom, positioned himself against the basin and fired the bullets he knew would kill Steenkamp.
The documents in eNCA's possession stated the State's own ballistics expert backed Pistorius's claim that he was on his stumps when he shot Steenkamp.
The expert also believed Pistorius fired from a distance greater than 60cm from the bathroom door - but closer than the 1.5 metres originally claimed by police.
eNCA said the State's evidence that Steenkamp was standing, facing the door when she was shot contradicted some media reports suggesting she was cowering.
NPA: Opposing Pistorius trial broadcast senseless
2014-02-19 21:05 Jonisayi Maromo
Oscar Pistorius (File, Sapa)
Pretoria - Spending money on opposing a court application for live broadcasts of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial will be futile, the NPA said on Wednesday.
The National Prosecuting Authority initially had fears when eNCA sought to broadcast the proceedings, spokesperson Nathi Mncube told reporters outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
The court heard an application by print media houses, eNCA, MultiChoice and Eyewitness News to broadcast the trial, which starts on 3 March.
However, the NPA's concerns were allayed by additional provisions brought by MultiChoice, Mncube said.
"We do not want our witnesses to be intimidated. We do not want them to be exposed if they don't want. All of that was addressed by the technology which MultiChoice brought and some concessions that were made.
"I don't know if it makes good sense to the public to say 'we want to [use] taxpayers' money to oppose the application of a person we as NPA are charging'. It doesn't make sense, we would rather focus on the criminal case we are pursuing."
Responding to claims that Reeva Steenkamp's parents were opposed to the bid to broadcast the court proceedings, Mncube said the NPA's decision was in the interests of justice.
"We are not here to look after just one witness. It's unfortunate that family is affected because it is their child who was killed. The people that are going to testify are not the family, but witnesses," he said.
"I think what the family wants is to see justice served. That is our focus as well. We appreciate that it might be sensitive for them, but in the bigger scheme of things, the public stands to benefit more by watching these proceedings broadcast if the court grants the order."
Barry Roux SC, for Pistorius, told the court earlier that Steenkamp's parents had not been informed about the NPA's agreeing to the live broadcast of the trial sought by the media.
A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming trial would be launched on DSTV a day before the star athlete goes on trial.
The broadcasters proposed permission to use unmanned, remote-controlled high-definition cameras which would feed to all broadcasters, if the application was successful.