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Pistorius judge bans live coverage of autopsy testimony

Published on 10/03/2014

A South African court blocked all live broadcasts Monday of graphic post-mortem details of Oscar Pistorius's slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the star sprinter's murder trial.

“There shall be no live broadcast of the evidence of Professor Saayman,” Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled before the testimony of Gert Saayman, who conducted the post-mortem examination on the 29-year-old model and law graduate.

“That applies to Twitter,” Masipa added.

Professor Saayman earlier asked that his testimony not be broadcast for ethical reasons.

He said the graphic nature of the autopsy report may infringe on Steenkamp’s dignity and harm unsuspecting members of the public who saw or heard the testimony.

“I think that it goes against the good morals of society for us to make information of this nature available in a manner that vulnerable or unsuspecting people in society may be exposed,” Saayman told the court.

Pistorius, charged with the pre-planned murder of Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, says he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder when he fired four shots through a locked bathroom at his home in the dead of night.

Media houses won unprecedented rights to broadcast on television large chunks of the court proceedings, while audio of the whole trial is allowed.