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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Olympian Oscar Pistorius making his first court appearance in South Africa. He is accused of shooting his girlfriend to death.
GRN reporter Adam Wakefield was in the courtroom today. He joins us from Johannesburg. Tell me, Adam, how far away were you from him in court? What did you see?
ADAM WAKEFIELD, GRN: I was approximately about five, ten meters. And what I could see was a very somber and upset human being, perhaps realizing the real gravity of the situation before him.
VAN SUSTEREN: About how long was the court proceeding? And what did it cover?
WAKEFIELD: The court proceeding was approximately 45 minutes. It covered two aspects. The first was the media application for the trial and the legal proceedings to be broadcast, which was denied.
And then the second aspect was Pistorius's defense team asking for a postponement to Tuesday so they could consult with their client at his bail application. He actually has not technically been charged as of yet. In South Africa court, you need a plea to be charged. He has not pled yet and the hearing will be postponed to Tuesday with the prosecution also agreeing with the defense postponement and the judge allowing it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Adam, the reports are that he got very emotional at some point. Was that just during one point of the 45-minute proceeding, or was it throughout the 45 minutes?
WAKEFIELD: There were a couple of points where emotions seemed to overtake Pistorius. At the beginning -- at the beginning of proceedings, he appeared to be quite collected and calm, if somber, as I mentioned. But as proceedings got under way, especially when the charge of premeditated murder was mentioned by prosecutor (INAUDIBLE), Pistorius broke down in teams.
So as I can say, he was quite emotional in court today.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, he is certainly -- he's a worldwide celebrity. I mean, everybody knows his story. But I'm curious. I mean, is he as giant -- I imagine that he is in South Africa. Is he a hero in South Africa?
WAKEFIELD: Yes, he is. He was our flag bearer at the 2012 Olympic games. He was the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic games. He's just widely admired for what he has achieved and the obstacles he has overcome. It's a matter of shock to us in South Africa since he is -- he's a massive celebrity (INAUDIBLE) in the sports and the wider media world.
VAN SUSTEREN: How long was he dating or was Reeva Steenkamp his girlfriend?
WAKEFIELD: He was reportedly dating her since November, but they had known each other for some time since and they appeared at a couple parties and events before they started officially dating in November.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is any information seeping out as to what the police believe happened inside that home?
WAKEFIELD: There's been media speculation and reports. Reportedly, the police were called at 1:00 AM in the morning to deal with a noise complaint in the estate. And after that, they then returned at 3:00 AM after neighbors heard gunshots, and then police were called out, at which point they arrested Pistorius. But these are reports -- these are details that have not been released by the police at this stage.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was she shot through a door? I mean, I heard one report suggesting that she might have been shoot through a door. Then I -- then I heard that that was bogus. Do you know if she was shot through a door?
WAKEFIELD: I cannot -- I cannot confirm (INAUDIBLE) if she was shot through the door, that is correct. That was the reports. State's report also stated that she was shot four times during the incident there. At this moment, the police haven't released that many details, preferring to keep that with the investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: Adam, thank you.
WAKEFIELD: My pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: Prosecutors say it is a premeditated murder, and that is what they are charging Pistorius. But what does it take to prove premeditation in South Africa? How is their legal system different than ours? William Booth is a South African defense lawyer. He joins us from Capetown.
William, nice to see you. And tell me -- can you give me an idea, an overview, of what the system -- what the court system is going to be like for this man?
WILLIAM BOOTH, SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY (Via Telephone): Hi. Great to see you and to be on the show.
Well, premeditated murder is really what it says, and being planned. The prosecution in this matter have indicated that (INAUDIBLE) fixing bail for Mr. Pistorius based primarily on the fact that they're saying it has been planned.
The distinction in South Africa with regard to bail is that if it's premeditated, or rather, if the allegation is that it's premeditated, then an accused person must establish that he should be released on bail.
In other words, it's slightly different when you're dealing with a situation of a trial, where at the trial stage, the prosecution most prove the guilt on an accused beyond reasonable doubt. At the stage of this bail proceedings, the accused must, in fact, establish that he should be released on bail.
VAN SUSTEREN: William, it sounds to me just from the very vague information that is seeping out that the neighbors heard some fighting, and then a little bit later, there was gunshots. That tends to be not what we typically think in the United States is premeditated but a domestic fight that went very, very, very wrong, which would not be a murder one. I mean, premeditation usually takes some level of sort of thinking about it, planning it. Doesn't have to be long, but it's different than a fight.
Is your -- does your law track that, or is it different?
BOOTH: No, no. Absolutely. In fact, it's typically quite difficult for the prosecutors to prove premeditation or planning. I think the normal scenario is where you might have a group of people who've gotten together beforehand and -- let's say in a gang situation, where they've planned to attack and kill a fellow gang member -- just to give an example.
In this situation, one wonders what type of evidence will be produced to, in fact, try and convince the court that Mr. Pistorius actually planned the whole thing.
Your normal situation would be, where, as you correctly point out, two people are together, they might have been in an argument, and somebody picks up a weapon, as firearm, as in this situation, and shoots the other person.
And again, as far as bail is concerned, it makes a big difference. And in fact, as far as a trial is concerned, it also makes a major difference. Eventually, if somebody's convicted of premeditated murder, the sentence could be life imprisonment. We don't have the death penalty anymore in South Africa. And if it is, in fact, murder -- one doesn't want to call it normal murder, but in a situation where it hasn't been planned, far lesser sentences can be imposed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have cameras in the courtroom for trials?
BOOTH: Not usually. In a normal situation, a case is not televised. However, the press have the opportunity to approach the presiding judge and request that a case be televised. A judge can, in fact, turn that down.
In this instance, although the matter is not being heard by a judge but by -- I think you call it a lower court judge or a magistrate, in South Africa -- there was an application yesterday for the proceedings to be televised. The magistrate turned that down and said that only at the stage of the handing down of the ruling on bail can the judgment be televised.
VAN SUSTEREN: William, thank you very much. And I assume we're going to be calling on you throughout this because this is going to -- this will take some time. Thank you, William.
BOOTH: Thank you. Bye.