Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail Ahead of Girlfriend’s Murder TrialPosted on Friday, February 22nd, 2013 at 5:28 PM
By Adeola Adeyemo
His Bail was set at 1m rand (£73,000), and Pistorius has been ordered not to return to Silver Woods estate, where the shooting took place. He was also told to report to a police station on Mondays and Fridays and to surrender his passport.
The Magistrate, Desmond Nair, said having reviewed evidence from the defence and prosecution, he felt Pistorius should be granted bail. He also pointed out that the former chief investigator in the case, Hilton Botha, had made “several errors and concessions” during his testimony during the bail hearing, adding that prosecutors had failed to prove that Pistorius was a flight risk or had a propensity toward violence.
According to Guardian UK, the Magistrate granted him bail for the following reasons:
- He did not think Pistorius was a flight risk.
- He did not think the prosecution had shown that Pistorius had a propensity for violence.
- He did not think the prosecution had shown there would be public outrage if he were released on bail.
- He did not think the prosecution’s case was so strong that Pistorius’s only reasonable reaction were he released would be to flee.
The Judge however pointed out holes in Pistorius’s story that may prove important when the case comes to trial:
- Why did he not ascertain Steenkamp’s whereabouts?
- Why did he not verify who was in the toilet?
- Why did Steenkamp not scream back from the toilet?
- Why did the deceased and the accused not escape through the bedroom door rather than venture into the toilet?
- Why would the accused venture into danger knowing the intruder was in the toilet, leaving himself open to attack? He returned to the dangerous area. What if the intruder was waiting for him?
And he said he had difficulty with the defence’s version of why the accused slept on the other side of the bed from usual that night.
Botha has since been removed from the case after prosecutors reinstated attempted murder charges against him in a 2011 incident unrelated to Pistorius.
ESPN reports that when the Magistrate announced that Pistorius would be released on bail, there were audible cheers from within the court.