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February 22, 2013

Oscar Pistorius is granted bail over Reeva Steenkamp killing

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Pistorius at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in South Korea.
Image: Erik van Leeuwen.

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail today after a four day hearing and a week in custody. He faces murder charges over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Magistrate Desmond Nair said that he did not believe Pistorius would try to flee the country or that he had a “propensity for violence”. A court date was set for the June 4 and bail was set at 1 million rand ($112,803, £73,000). He was told to hand over his passport, live at a discrete address, not drink alcohol or take drugs and report to a police station twice a week in Pretoria.

Mr Nair took near to two hours to deliver his judgement. He also criticised the testimony of Detective Hilton Botha for not having collected crucial information and having possibly contaminated the scene.

Oscar Pistorius’s family and supporters in the court cheered as the magistrate announced his decision. Outside the court, his uncle Arnold Pistorius said in a statement, “As a family, we know Oscar’s version of what happened that tragic night and we know that is the truth and that will prevail in the coming court cases,”. A spokesperson for the Steenkamp family said, “We’re not sure what to feel in the case. We just want to know the truth, and whatever happens it’s not going to bring Reeva back.”

Oscar Pistorius is charged with murder over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29. He says he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder on February 14. Steenkamp’s funeral was held on Tuesday – the day of the first court hearing. The model was cremated in her home town of Port Elizabeth.

Pistorius won gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012. At the 2012 Olympic Games he became the first amputee to run in the able-bodied category, reaching the semi-final of the 400m.


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