Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail in Murder Trial

Oscar Pistorius was granted bail on the fourth day of trial for the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (Google Images)

Phillip de Wet of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian is reporting that Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail on his fourth day of trial for the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Prosecutors had accused Pistorius of premeditated murder, and he spent eight nights in jail before bail was set today. The conditions were originally set at 250,000 rand in guarantees and a ban on foreign travel, as well as on return to the home where he shot Steenkamp. Magistrate Desmond Nair, however, significantly raised the conditions to 100,000 rand in cash and 900,000 rand in guarantees. In addition, Pistorius must relinquish ownership of his guns and agree to constant surveillance.

De Wet writes:

Most onerously … Nair dispensed with the usual requirement that an awaiting-trial accused report regularly to a police station, and made Pistorius subject to constant supervision. That means, among other things, that Pistorius will not be able to travel outside Pretoria without prior permission. He is not allowed to use alcohol or drugs, and is subject to testing for those substances, day or night.

His probation officials will need to be in regular contact with him, to report on his state of mind, and have the right to phone him and request meetings whenever they see fit. The implication is that, should Pistorius indeed resume training, as his coach suggested on Friday morning he would do, he would have a hard time using facilities outside Pretoria, even as near as Johannesburg.

And should he take a celebratory drink during his first night not behind bars in more than a week, he could be subject to immediate arrest and detention for the duration of his trial. Pistorius was also specifically warned against contacting any potential witnesses in the matter, or doing violence to a woman.

Read more at Mail & Guardian.

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