Oscar Pistorius tweets could be defamatory – legal expert

Comments made on Twitter concerning the ongoing Oscar Pistorius murder case in South Africa could lead to unknowing bloggers being found guilty of defamation.

Paul Jacobson, legal expert and founder of web.tech.law, wrote on his blog: “Pistorius stands accused of murder but he hasn’t been found guilty. He is still, in our law at least, innocent.”

He added: “Drawing conclusions about Pistorius’ guilt and publishing those conclusions online can lead to a defamation claim down the line.

“In all likelihood, most of the conjecture about Pistorius’ guilt is defamatory and the question is whether those defamatory statements are justifiable and that remains to be seen.

“If you are engaged in a debate about the case, it may be prudent for you to be measured in your statements and avoid potentially prejudicial declarations.”

The Pistorius bail case has been trending highly in South Africa all week with some people debating the case, questioning whether or not he is guilty and some making jokes.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete, known as Blade Runner, is accused of premeditated murder. He is accused of shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Pistorius has said he thought Steenkamp was a burglar.

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