Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius granted bail in alleged homicide case
Pretoria, South Africa (4E Sports) – Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been given temporary liberty after a magistrate allowed him to post bail, saying the track star accused of murdering his girlfriend is not a flight risk due to his physical condition.
“I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail,” magistrate Desmond Nair said after a two-hour hearing highlighted by arguments and presentation of evidences by the defense and prosecution.
Nair set Pistorius’ bail at 1 million rand or $110,000 and scheduled the start of the murder trial on June 4.
The magistrate also ordered Pistorius to hand over firearms and passports, avoid his home and all witnesses in the case, report to a police station twice a week, and not to drink alcohol. Pistorius is not permitted to enter any international airport departure hall.
Nair’s decision came four days after Pistorius admitted shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury home near Pretoria on Valentine’s Day.
However, the Olympic and Paralympic star known as Blade Runner for his carbon-fiber legs said he mistaken her for a burglar.
The prosecution insists it was premeditated murder while the defense argues that it was culpable homicide.
Pistorius’ lawyer, Kenny Oldwage, said they have provided a residence for him in Pretoria after his release from custody.
The star’s coach, Ampie Louw, said he’s was considering putting the athlete back in training “to get his mind clear”.
During the hearing, Nair said Hilton Botha, the detective leading the investigation, made several errors and concessions during cross-examination that might have jeopardized the case.
Nair also said that prosecution failed to prove that Pistorius is violent man, one of the several grounds on which bail can be denied.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel tried to convince Nair that Pistorius is a flight risk and has the “money, motive and means” to flee if granted bail.
Defense lawyer Barry Roux, however, maintained that Pistorius “cannot go unnoticed through airport security. He can never go anywhere unnoticed.”