Pistorius Granted Bail Pending Murder Trial

(Image 1)

PRETORIA, South
Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius was granted bail Friday, paving the
way for him to be freed from custody pending his trial in the
Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius'
family members and supporters shouted “Yes!” when Chief Magistrate
Desmond Nair made his decision after a near two-hour explanation of his
ruling.

Nair set the bail at 1 million rand
($113,000), with $11,300 in cash and proof that the rest is available.
The magistrate said Pistorius must hand over his passports and also turn
in any other guns that he owns. Pistorius also cannot leave the
district of Pretoria without the permission of his probation officer,
Nair said.

The double-amputee Olympian's next court appearance was set for June 4.

The magistrate also ruled that he could not return to his home, where the killing of Steenkamp took place.

Nair made the ruling after four days of arguments from prosecution and defense in Pistorius' bail hearing.

Nair
said Pistorius' affidavit, in which he gave his version of the events
of the shooting on morning of Feb. 14 in a sworn statement, had helped
his application for bail in Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

“That
reaching out in the affidavit, the way that he did, placing it before
the court,” Nair said. “I come to the conclusion that the accused has
made a case to be released on bail.”

Pistorius
shot and killed Steenkamp in the predawn hours of Feb. 14. The athlete
says he shot his girlfriend accidentally believing she was an intruder
in his house. Prosecutors say he intended to kill Steenkamp and charged
him with premeditated murder, saying the shooting followed a loud
argument between the two.



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