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2nd day of Pistorius murder trial interrupted

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 4, 2014 at 8:16 a.m.

PRETORIA, South Africa — The second day of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial was interrupted Tuesday and the judge ordered an investigation into allegations that a South African television channel was broadcasting a photograph of a witness — against a court order guaranteeing privacy to witnesses who request it.

Judge Thokozile Masipa warned media to respect the ruling that images of witnesses who request privacy should not be shown. Masipa called the revelation "very disturbing."

"An investigation is to follow to find out exactly what is happening. This may just be the tip of the iceberg," said Masipa.

The witness, Michelle Burger, lives close to Pistorius' house and says she heard a woman screaming on the night Pistorius killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, leading him to be charged with murder.

South African television station eNCA was broadcasting a live audio feed of university lecturer Michelle Burger's testimony Tuesday with a still photograph of her, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said in court. He said the photo was captioned: "On the stand: Michelle Burger, Pistorius neighbor."

Nel said eNCA contacted the court clerk to ask if they could run a photograph of the witness that they had obtained from outside the court. The court said no, Nel said.

"They still went ahead and did it," the prosecutor said.

Nel said the outlet found the photo "somewhere else."

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