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New Developments in Oscar Pistorius Case; Horror Abroad; Toronto Mayor Denies Drug Rumors; Bieber Accused of Reckless Driving

Aired May 31, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: She has met him. She has talked to him. He's not giving recorded interviews, but she did speak to his family and others who are standing by him.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was Reeva Steenkamp, modeling for the cover of a South African magazine.

She was not just a swimsuit model, she was a law school graduate, too, and Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend.

Early on Valentine's Day, he shot her dead. He says it was a tragic accident, that he mistook her for a burglar.

The state says it was murder. A trial date has not yet been set.

PEET VAN ZYL, OSCAR PISTORIUS' AGENT: He was the guy that's been spending many years with Oscar.

CURNOW: For the first time, Pistorius' agent, Peet Van Zyl, talks about the tragic events of February 14th.

VAN ZYL: One phone call to me at 4:00 in the morning, everything changed, yeah.

CURNOW: I mean, what was your reaction? Who phoned you? And what did they say?

VAN ZYL: It was most likely the estate manager's daughter phoned me from Oscar's phone, so I picked up the phone and saw it was Oscar's number and thought it was him phoning me.

And just had this voice of a girl frantically on the other side, shouting, please, you have to rush to Pretoria to come to Oscar's house. Trying to make sense of what's wrong. No, no, someone's shot, someone's shot.

So I immediately thought it was Oscar that had been shot. So they said, no, no, no, Reeva's been shot.

CURNOW: Van Zyl called Ampie Louw, Pistorius' athletic coach.

AMPIE LOUW, OSCAR PISTORIUS' COACH: When I arrived at the house and you see all the police cars and lights, I was standing outside me and Peet, and the lawyer came there and then -- but later, his sister came and (inaudible). Oscar was inside. I could hear him crying in the garage. And Reeva was at the entrance. So that was terrible for me.

CURNOW: Since then, for the past three months, Pistorius has been living here, at his Uncle Arnold's home in Pretoria.

When I spoke to Oscar a little bit before we started chatting, he said he had a lot of photos of Reeva and that he was still pining for her.

ARNOLD PISTORIUS, OSCAR PISTORIUS' UNCLE: Yes, he's got photos in his room. He's got photos all over the place.

And what can you say if the person you love the most die and you were the instrument? How would you feel? It's unthinkable.

CURNOW: Also unthinkable is the grief Reeva's family and friends must have. They also miss her, yearn for her, as the legal process slowly moves towards a trial.


MALVEAUX: Robyn is joining us live from Johannesburg.

So, Robyn, first of all tell us, we know that, Oscar Pistorius, he's got a court appearance coming up soon. But the case it looks like seems to have some problems here.

CURNOW: Absolutely. Well, that court appearance, brief as it might be on Tuesday, was going to be key because we were going to be able to see what the state's case is, essentially, against Oscar Pistorius. They had to lay out the contents of the charges.

Now, they say they're not ready to do that, and they've asked for a postponement until perhaps august.

So this is an indication that essentially they're still investigating this case, and it's certainly not as watertight as they'd put across in that dramatic bail hearing where they came out, guns blazing, saying that, you know, they believed it was premeditated murder.

The fact that they can't even, you know, put out the contents of the charges, they're still investigating and they're delaying really gives an indication that perhaps the state's evidence, the state's case against Oscar Pistorius is, A, not as tight as it was or, perhaps even crumbling.

MALVEAUX: All right. OK. Robyn Curnow, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

And, of course, we're going to be following that story next week.


Now the Arizona mother wrongly jailed in Mexico is now free, but many Americans traveling abroad don't always get that kind of happy ending.

MALVEAUX: More than 7,000 Americans locked up in foreign jails around the world.

Well, coming up, the question being, how can you avoid it, getting locked up while traveling?


HOLMES: An Arizona mother spent more than a week locked up in a Mexican jail. We know this story.

But what can you do to avoid getting locked up in a foreign slammer?

MALVEAUX: Yanira Maldonado, she was released in Mexico. That happened late last night, and her attorney was able to show the drug smuggling allegations against her were not true.

So while she was still behind bars, Maldonado said she really had second thoughts about advice on traveling to Mexico.


YANIRA MALDONADO, ARIZONA MOTHER ARRESTED IN MEXICO: I used to tell people, come to Mexico. It's not true what they're saying. I go every year to visit my family. And look what's happening to me now.


HOLMES: Yeah, Dick Atkins is a legal expert and a spokesman for the show "Locked Up Abroad," which is on the National Geographic Channel.

Dick, good to see you. How common is it for someone to get detained in a place like Mexico?

DICK ATKINS, SPOKESMAN FOR "LOCKED UP ABROAD": It's very frequent. However, there are so many people, millions of people traveling there, that the percentage is infinitesimal.

But because there are so many people, there are hundreds of people who are arrested who are Americans every year, and not all of them get out so quickly as this woman did.

MALVEAUX: So how many are locked up in foreign countries right now? What do they get locked up for? Are they guilty or innocent or no?

ATKINS: Well, that's a lot of questions. There are probably about 7,000 who get locked up every year, and there are usually about 2,500 who are remaining in jail at any given time.

And they get locked up for a variety of things, and the best, the most popular one, most frequent one is drug possession or drug smuggling.

And even in Mexico where they have made it legal or decriminalized the small possession, possession of small amounts of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin, anything having to do with a larger amount, or what in this woman's case, trafficking, that is a serious crime. And it's one of the big things that people get arrested for. HOLMES: All right, now, so what advice -- and this is -- we're showing a clip there of the show, "Locked Up Abroad," while we're discussing, but -- so what's your advice? What simple things should people not do?

ATKINS: First thing, they should not have anything to do with drugs. This was an aberration, the fact that drugs were put under this woman's seat. It happens hardly ever. This is the first time I've seen something like that.

They should not be drunk and disorderly because so many people are arrested because of stupid activities when they are drunk in public.

And the other things they should do is don't have anything to do with guns or ammunition, especially in Mexico because there are hundreds of Americans locked up at any given time in Mexico often because they forget that they have a couple bullets leftover from legal shooting in the United States in their suitcase.

Those are three important things not to do.

MALVEAUX: And, Dick, you know, you have this show here, and you say locked up around the world, what are some of the worst places that you could possibly be incarcerated or behind bars?

ATKINS: Well, I have the hardest time on behalf of people in jail in North Korea and in Iran. They're impossible. And you're taking a great chance -- incredible that people would still go there under these circumstances, but they do. And those are two of the countries.

Saudi Arabia is a terrible place to be arrested in. That can bring about a lot of problems.

The countries in Central Africa and West Africa, the prisons are absolutely terrible. And Peru is another country where terrible prisons. And Mexico is bad enough.

HOLMES: Yeah, I was going to ask, too, one of the other things people make mistakes and this happens a lot in the Gulf nations, too, is perhaps ignorantly offending local custom.

ATKINS: Well, that's one of the biggest things. When you say how many are really innocent? The answer is, truly innocent, maybe one- sixth. But if you add in those who don't realize the customs, it's more.

I've had a bunch of cases where people in Thailand disrespect the king, either by ripping up money -- major, major offense because it has the king's -- every Thai baht has the king's photo on it or other member of the royal family.

And again, antiquities, people buy things which turn out to be an antiquity, particularly in Turkey, and they are arrested. And it could be a very serious crime.

And there are other things like that which are violations of local laws and customs that really get people locked up abroad and without any hope unless they have a good lawyer.

MALVEAUX: All right. Dick Atkins, just excellent information there and good advice.

I want to remind our viewers. "Locked Up Abroad" airs on National Geographic. That's Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. It's really just fascinating, and you can get more tips on that show, obviously.

HOLMES: I've seen some people say, too, that the lady in Mexico, if she had not been a religious respectable mother of seven, she might not have gotten the headlines.

And a lot of people aren't religious mothers of seven and don't get the publicity she got, which obviously puts some pressure on it.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, and one thing Dick brings up is sometimes people just do stupid things and they don't realize how deep in trouble they can get.

There are a very different set of laws and than other countries.

HOLMES: Parts of the world where you don't hold hands.


Toronto's mayor accused of smoking crack cocaine. Reportedly, there is a video out to prove this.

HOLMES: Yeah, so where is it? How this scandal could take a somewhat sinister turn. That's coming up, next.


HOLMES: All right, let's go north of the border now, Canada, where the mayor of Toronto doing all he can to steer attention away from a pretty serious accusation, rumors that he smoked crack.

MALVEAUX: And there are a few reporters who say they've actually seen the video of the mayor, Rob Ford, using a crack pipe. Nobody's sure if the video really exists. Paula Newton has the details.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He just can't shake it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where the video is, Mayor Ford.

NEWTON: That video. The one that allegedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. The one he says doesn't exist and is no threat to his job.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I'm not stepping aside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you tried to obtain the video, sir?

R. FORD: Anything else? NEWTON: You bet there is. For days now, the "Toronto Star" newspaper has been claiming that drug dealers showed two of its reporters a video of the mayor smoking cocaine. Rob Ford says, no way.

R. FORD: I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

NEWTON: But his words have only fired up his critics and the "Toronto Star," which now claims the mayor not only knows there's a video, but knows who has it and where to find it. Counselor Doug Ford is the mayor's brother and defender in chief.

DOUG FORD, MAYOR ROB FORD'S BROTHER: I spoke to the mayor, I spoke to his staff. They said these allegations are completely false.

NEWTON: But Thursday, two more of the mayor's staffers quit over the controversy. He's lost five in one week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he can survive this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything's possible.

NEWTON: Although the jokes do write themselves.

JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Hey, hey, don't judge him. Maybe he's cleaning up the city by smoking all the crack in it. You're next prostitution rings.

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Well, to be fair, there's not a lot to do in Toronto.

NEWTON: Toronto, boring no longer thanks to Rob Ford. But this scandal could yet take a sinister turn. Toronto police tell CNN they are monitoring the situation closely. And Ford admits he has known drug dealers, including one who was recently murdered and is allegedly linked to this scandal. Even so, he says he won't quit. He's running again.

Former Washington Mayor Marion Berry did it and he admitted to drug use, even served time. Critics are circling though, waiting for the video to surface. But until this does, this mayor is putting new meaning to the words, you can't fight city hall.

Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


MALVEAUX: And coming up, has world famous navigator Amelia Earhart's plane wreckage finally been found?

HOLMES: Yes, we'll show you some new evidence, when we come back.

Also, it has been a bizarre year for Justin Bieber. We're going to have a look at the troubles he has faced around the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: All right. It's been kind of a bizarre year for international pop star Justin Bieber.

HOLMES: It has, hasn't it? Even police have now launched an investigation into alleged reckless driving in his white Ferrari. Let's have a quick snapshot of his recent troubles.

MALVEAUX: So in March, the 19-year-old ended up in the hospital after a London concert where he stumbled, almost fainted on stage.

HOLMES: And then in April, Swedish police seized drugs from his tour bus.

MALVEAUX: And then Bieber left a bizarre note, this was in the guest book at the Anne Frank House saying the holocaust victim would have been a Belieber, the name used for his fans.

HOLMES: Yes, and who can forget the pet monkey that was seized and quarantined in Germany. And then there were the fights with the paparazzi. Here's Sara Sidner.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Justin Bieber, pop star turned party king, or just rebellious teen? The 19-year-old's clean- cut image seeing another stain after he was spotted club hopping around New York City Wednesday night, raising more questions about his recent offstage antics.

SIDNER (on camera): Do you think that Justin Bieber is on this path of slow destruction or just a meltdown?

VANESSA GRIGORIADAS, CONTRIBUTOR, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: I think some of the things that he's done recently have crossed over from acting out into, you know -

SIDNER: Meltdown status?

GRIGORIADAS: Semi meltdown status.

SIDNER (voice-over): Vanessa Grigoriadas spent time with Bieber and his inner circle writing Bieber's cover story for "Rolling Stone" magazine. Bouncing between New York City clubs by night and by day reportedly racing through his California neighborhood, the L.A. Sheriff's Department is all but begging Bieber to speak with deputies sent to investigate reports of reckless driving.

STEVE WHITMORE, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT. SPOKESMAN: Please talk to us. Tell us what you believe occurred.

SIDNER: This week, Bieber's neighbors accuse the singer of barreling through their gated Calabasas neighborhood at breakneck speed.

WHITMORE: We got a couple of calls from two witnesses that said that they saw Justin Bieber driving recklessly in his white Ferrari. Some even estimated maybe freeway rates of speed. And this is in a 25-mile- per-hour zone.

SIDNER: Bieber's neighbors tell CNN this wasn't the first time they saw the singer driving recklessly. A neighbor who confronted Bieber about it back in March accuses the singer of spitting on him and making threats in response. The L.A. district attorney says that case is under review.

Last summer, Bieber got a speeding ticket while trying to outrun the paparazzi. He called 911 when photographers continued to follow him.

JUSTIN BIEBER, MUSICIAN: They're the ones that are driving reckless and now I'm the one that's, you know, and I'm just trying to just -- like not have them being on my tail.

SIDNER: If that weren't enough car trouble for the Biebs, Wednesday an L.A. County sheriff deputy pulled over his Ferrari because it didn't have a front license plate. Bieber wasn't driving, however his friend Lil Twist reportedly was. At least the second time Twist has been pulled over in Bieber's car.

As for Bieber's legions of young and impressionable fans, they don't seem to care what he's up to off stage, that is as long as he keeps performing on stage.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Hollywood.


HOLMES: Nice car though.

MALVEAUX: The house is too big.

HOLMES: Yes. Some other stars like Beyonce, J-Lo, they're coming together for a great idea. It's a charity concert in London tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: "The Time for Change" concert raising money for dozens of projects that help girls and women. Now, the charity's focus on education, health or employment. And here's how it works. Concert goes, they buy tickets, they get vouchers to use toward any of the 160 projects.

HOLMES: Yes, they've got a month to choose a charity and donate. Gucci is sponsoring tomorrow's event.



MALVEAUX: The decade's long search for aviator Amelia Earhart turning up some new, underwater clues. This is in the south Pacific. Pretty cool.

HOLMES: Always seems to be something popping up about her, doesn't it? Researchers say that grainy image there taken hundreds of feet below the ocean's surface, well, it could be a piece of Earhart's plane. MALVEAUX: They say it is the right size and shape and in part of the south Pacific where her plane disappeared back in 1937. Now, Earhart, she was attempting to fly around the world. And the international group for historic aircraft recovery wants to get to the site to investigate it further.

HOLMES: Like every six months there's something about Amelia Earhart's plane. It's just --

MALVEAUX: It's fascinating. You know, we want to find her.

HOLMES: Go down there and have a look. See if that's it.

All right, new video of the Boston bombing suspects. I don't know if you've seen this? A look at what they were doing just days before police say they blew up that cooker at the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

MALVEAUX: That up ahead. But first, new video. This is of Antarctic ice. Take a look at this rather stunning part of the world. A rare treat to see, up next.


MALVEAUX: All right, take a look at this. This is pretty amazing stuff. This is a stunning view of the Antarctic here. Look at this.

HOLMES: Yes, isn't it beautiful. Scientists went on a two-month study expedition to study the area's unique ecosystem. And they took video the whole way.

MALVEAUX: So these images, they've now been condensed actually into remarkable time lapse pictures. And they capture really a world of extremes. This is where very few people can go and even get to. You've got these huge blocks of ice that are -- threaten to trap the ship at times as you can see there.

HOLMES: And you get the temperatures, of course, go down to minus 40. In the summer, the sun was out 24/7. That's got to ruin your day, doesn't it?

MALVEAUX: That's a little chilly.

HOLMES: Yes, I know. What was that movie?


HOLMES: Anyway, the plankton blooms, they got so large, you could see them from outer space. There's a lot going on out there. And, of course, you know, a lot of worries about a lot of this ice melting more and more every year.

MALVEAUX: And you can see just a few of the wildlife there. It's a fascinating view of this. And you can see more of it on our website, And check out MainSail as well.


MALVEAUX: You can get a real good sense of that.

HOLMES: Great stuff.

MALVEAUX: Pretty cool.

HOLMES: Beautiful pictures. All right, thanks for watching AROUND THE -

MALVEAUX: One day we'll visit.

HOLMES: One day, yes, yes.

MALVEAUX: Yes, they'll send us out there.

HOLMES: Yes, right.

MALVEAUX: CNN will pay the bill.

HOLMES: Have a great weekend, everyone. I've got to go. Suzanne's sticking around.

MALVEAUX: All right, I'll see you Monday.

HOLMES: All right.