Oscar Pistorius Judge Warns Media on 'Scandalous' Reporting
Pistorius makes rare appearance as murder case postponed to Aug. 19.
PRETORIA, South Africa, June 4, 2013— -- Oscar Pistorius emerged from self-imposed isolation today for the first time in four months, appearing in court before a magistrate who warned the media to steer clear of any "scandalous" reporting that might taint the Olympian's murder trial.
Pistorius, wearing a dark suit and black and white tie, stood emotionless during the 15-minute hearing at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in South Africa. The prosecution's request for postponement was granted and the case was pushed back to Aug. 19 so detectives can finish their investigation.
Pistorius, 26, dubbed "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, is accused of premeditated murder for fatally shooting his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day.
The double-amputee Olympian was greeted at the entrance of the court by a frenzy of flashbulbs as he was accompanied by a dozen supporters, including his sister, Aimee, his uncle Arnold and his brother, Carl. Pistorius' only words were "Yes, your honor," when he asked whether he still understands the terms of his release.
The magistrate warned that "scandalous and possibly contemptuous" reporting by some in the media could impede Pistorius' right to a fair trial, adding that it's important that everyone respect the judicial process.
Magistrate Daniel Thulare also told the National Prosecuting Authority to "seriously look" at whether any of the coverage of the case had scandalized the court. Thulare has asked anyone with information about the crime to contact investigators.
The magistrate's concern comes after Sky News released images Friday of the blood-stained bathroom where Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp Feb. 14. Sky News said it "obtained" the collection of photographs of Pistorius' home, but did not divulge the source. One picture shows bloody shoe footprints, possible evidence that investigators contaminated the crime scene.
Pistorius says he shot girlfriend Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for an intruder on at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Prosecutors say Pistorius knew Steenkamp, who had been sleeping in the same bed with him, was in the bathroom and he intended to kill her. They allege the Paralympian took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, before he fired four shots through the closed bathroom door.
Pistorius maintains that he was not wearing his famous carbon-fiber blades when he fatally shot Steenkamp.
"He's a scared young man. People don't realize when he takes those legs off, he's this high." Pistorius' agent, Peet Van Zyl, told ABC News in an exclusive interview.