Pistorius trial channel to feature OJ Simpson attorney

MultiChoice has released details of its channel dedicated to the murder trial of South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius, with former OJ Simpson defence attorney Robert Shapiro, American forensic experts and police consultants to hit television shows set to feature.

Pistorius goes on trial accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year, with HumanIPO reporting yesterday the court had ruled it could be broadcast live using hanging spy cameras.

MultiChoice announced last month the launch of a dedicated pop-up channel – “The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel” – to provide 24-hour coverage of the trial, with the broadcaster saying though Pistorius’ testimony will  not be broadcast it will be able to broadcast audio of the full trial and televise parts of it.

“We are thrilled that the South African judiciary has matured to this groundbreaking decision. It is a seminal moment and will make South African television and legal history as visual access of this nature has never before been granted in a South African court,” said George Mazarakis, executive editor of the channel.

The broadcaster has disclosed in further details what viewers will be able to watch on the channel.

“On March 3 the world’s media will descend on Pretoria to cover the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius. However, only one media platform will provide 24-hour coverage of the trial’s progress, with in-depth analysis and informed commentary from key personalities,” MultiChoice said.

“The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel on DStv Channel 199, will feature interviews with a large variety of expert guests from around the world throughout the course of the daytime and evening programming. These guests will offer insight and commentary on what happened in court. Experts will include senior legal minds, psychologists, forensic experts, social commentators, brand gurus, social media analysts, news and media heavyweights.”

Mazarakis said it had secured “exclusive access” to international experts such as criminal defence attorney Robert Shapiro, famous for his defence of OJ Simpson, American forensic experts and police consultants to hit television shows such as Dexter.

“The editorial team responsible for the channel’s conception and content are the very same journalists who have brought the world 25 years of credible, award-winning investigative reporting on news magazine show, Carte Blanche. The presenters are veteran news journalists Derek Watts, John Webb, Bongani Bingwa and Devi Sankaree Govender, top social media lawyer Emma Sadleir, experienced radio talk show host Leigh Bennie, heavyweight legal journalist and radio talk show host, David O’Sullivan and ex BBC presenter, Subniv Babuta,” MultiChoice said.

The channel will be hosted from a studio in Johannesburg, crossing live to a team of journalists at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, led by field anchor John Webb.

HumanIPO reported on Monday Pistorius’ media team launched a new Twitter handle, @OscarHardTruth, to keep fans up to date with his murder trial.

Social media channels have tended to be dominated by Pistorius when events regarding his murder trial take place, #oscarpistorius having taken over Twitter last March when the athlete’s bail conditions were eased.

The Pistorius family has spoken out about the social media commentary surrounding the case, saying the “disregard” to the grief the family is feeling being shown by many commenting is “troubling”.

A legal expert has also suggested certain Tweets regarding the case could be defamatory, as Pistorius has not been found guilty and as such those tweeting conclusions about his guilt could face legal action.

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