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Pistorius granted bail after 4 days in court
February 22, 2013, 3:49 pm


Oscar Pistorius denies the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp [AP]

A South African magistrate has granted bail to Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, after a four-day hearing in Pretoria.

The Olympic and Paralympic champion denies the murder charge of his girlfriend, saying he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder and shot her out of fear.

South African magistrate Desmond Nair began delivering his ruling at 2.30pm local time in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

The magistrate took over two hours to make his decision before saying that due to the “totality of the evidence” Pistorius should be granted bail while he awaits trial for murder.

Earlier in the day, Gerrie Nel, the lead prosecutor said that Pistorius’s version of events was “improbable” and said that there was a chance the athlete would flee if granted bail.

While the defence, led by Barry Roux said that due to Pistorius’s prosthetics and need for medical attention he was not a flight risk.

In a remarkable twist to the case that has drawn international attention, South African police revealed yesterday morning that the lead detective in the investigation against Pistorius faces seven criminal charges of attempted murder.

Mangwashi Phiyega, the Police Commissioner confirmed in a press conference yesterday that Detective Hilton Botha would be replaced by another senior detective.

In court today, the magistrate criticised Botha saying he changed his statement and did not follow up on important leads.

Nair has set the bail at 1 million rand ($113,000) and Pistorius must hand over his passport.

The date of his trial is yet to be announced.

Source: Agencies