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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar Pistorius Has Been granted bail

Photo: Developing NEWS: The PISTORIUS Saga:

--- Oscar Pistorius Has Been granted bail Today:

... For Allegedly Killing His Girlfriend ...


Oscar Pistorius was released from custody after winning the right to avoid imprisonment until his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a South African court decided on Friday.
A four-day hearing culminated on Friday with shouts of "Yes!" when chief magistrate Desmond Nair announced he was granting the Blade Runner bail. Pistorius, who kept his head bowed when Nair announced his ruling, was ordered to post $1 million South African Rand – $112,771 U.S. dollars – as surety and surrender his passport to prevent him from leaving the country.
Although Pistorius, who claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door on Feb. 14, still faces charges of premeditated murder and could receive a life sentence, this outcome after four days of testimony is a major victory for the 26-year-old and his legal team before they are due back in court on June 4.
Among the stipulations of his bail, Pistorius was also ordered to surrender all his firearms, must appear at Brooklyn Police Station (where he had been held) every Monday and Friday,  may not enter any airport, cannot talk to any witnesses and is not allowed to drink alcohol.
Nair, who admitted the decision was an"unenviable task," stated he did not believe Pistorius to be a flight risk and that the prosecution did not show he had a propensity for violence. As part of his summation that lasted nearly two hours on Friday, he highlighted several blunders made during the police investigation led by Hilton Botha, who was removed from the case Thursday after it emerged he was himself accused of seven counts of attempted murder. The blunders included:
• A failure to check proper phone records
• A possibility he contaminated crime scene evidence
• A failure to further investigate allegations of prior Pistorius aggression
• Mischaracterization of a substance found at the home
• A failure to seize evidence pertaining to offshore accounts
However, Nair also highlighted several burning questions that Pistorius and his legal team will need to answer once the trial comes around:
• Why didn't he ascertain Steenkamp's whereabouts?
• Why didn't Steenkamp answer back when he allegedly shouted to someone in the toilet?
• Why didn't he verify who was in the toilet before firing?
The international posse of media and a global audience has heard nothing from Pistorius himself, unless you count a written affidavit that was read in court by his lawyer on Wednesday. But the athlete wanted this bail decision desperately, and as Nair handed down his judgment on Friday, it must have meant as much to Pistorius as any of his triumphs on the track, where he became the first double amputee to compete in both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

Pretoria Central Prison, where he would have been remanded if denied bail, is by all accounts a godforsaken place – a dirty, noisy, violent, crowded, dangerous and soul-destroying jail that no one, especially a famous, white, wealthy, amputee superstar wants to spend time at.
Yet even more significantly for Pistorius' potential future liberty is the reality that under South African legal regulations defendants who are bailed are widely considered to have significant advantages come trial time.
"It is hugely preferable for the defense to have the accused out on bail rather than being incarcerated," legal expert Manny Voets told 567 The Cape radio. "If the accused is in prison, you have to schedule appointments to visit, there is limited time and you are in a small room.
"Being out of prison is much easier. He can be seen in chambers and the preparation for defending the case is just much smoother. It is definitely preferable and can be very important in cases."
Pistorius will be relieved to be out of Pretoria Magistrates Court, where he spent four tense days under heavy scrutiny, much of it in floods of tears. While Pistorius could often maintain his composure during the more technical aspects of the legal deliberations, he would generally break down into sobs and gasps whenever assertions from either counsel turned to the actual events of Valentine's Day morning.
His equilibrium was tested fully on Friday morning, as prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his final push for the denial of bail by going firmly on the attack. Nel was adamant that the prosecution would assert Steenkamp had fled to the toilet at Pistorius' luxury residence in the Silver Lakes community either to "escape an argument or a gun."
He also claimed Pistorius may have had his defense – his belief that an intruder had entered the house – prepared before the actual shooting took place.
"I have my gun, I want to shoot her, and when they ask me, I'll say it was an intruder," said Nel, giving his interpretation of what he believed to be the runner's mindset. "As soon as they confront me, I'll say it was a burglar."
Pistorius' sister Aimee and other members of his support looked disgusted at the suggestion, and were similarly unimpressed when Nel insisted he posed a flight risk, highlighting his access to a property in Italy where he has regularly trained during the European track season.
Nel likened the matter to that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and avoiding extradition to Sweden where he is facing allegations of sexual assault.
After Nel also issued stout criticism of Pistorius for not personally taking the stand, defense counsel Barry Roux argued for a charge of culpable homicide, a lesser charge than murder, and claimed that any intent to kill an intruder could not be read as intent to kill Steenkamp.
Roux also pounced on the holes in the evidence put forward by the stumbling testimony of Botha. That disastrous second afternoon for the prosecution marked the turning point from which the prosecution could not recover.
The bail ruling opens the possibility that Pistorius could return to athletic training, with his running coach Ampie Loew insisting he would like to see the 400-meter star back in training as early as Monday as a means to shifting his mind onto more positive things than the bloody events of Valentine's Day morning and the fatal shooting of Steenkamp.


(curled from REUTERS)

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Oscar Pistorius was released from custody after winning the right to avoid imprisonment until his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a South African court decided on Friday.

A four-day hearing culminated on Friday with shouts of "Yes!" when chief magistrate Desmond Nair announced he was granting the Blade Runner bail. Pistorius, who kept his head bowed when Nair announced his ruling, was ordered to post $1 million South African Rand – $112,771 U.S. dollars – as surety and surrender his passport to prevent him from leaving the country.
Although Pistorius, who claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door on Feb. 14, still faces charges of premeditated murder and could receive a life sentence, this outcome after four days of testimony is a major victory for the 26-year-old and his legal team before they are due back in court on June 4.
Among the stipulations of his bail, Pistorius was also ordered to surrender all his firearms, must appear at Brooklyn Police Station (where he had been held) every Monday and Friday, may not enter any airport, cannot talk to any witnesses and is not allowed to drink alcohol.
Nair, who admitted the decision was an"unenviable task," stated he did not believe Pistorius to be a flight risk and that the prosecution did not show he had a propensity for violence. As part of his summation that lasted nearly two hours on Friday, he highlighted several blunders made during the police investigation led by Hilton Botha, who was removed from the case Thursday after it emerged he was himself accused of seven counts of attempted murder. The blunders included:
• A failure to check proper phone records
• A possibility he contaminated crime scene evidence
• A failure to further investigate allegations of prior Pistorius aggression
• Mischaracterization of a substance found at the home
• A failure to seize evidence pertaining to offshore accounts
However, Nair also highlighted several burning questions that Pistorius and his legal team will need to answer once the trial comes around:
• Why didn't he ascertain Steenkamp's whereabouts?
• Why didn't Steenkamp answer back when he allegedly shouted to someone in the toilet?
• Why didn't he verify who was in the toilet before firing?
The international posse of media and a global audience has heard nothing from Pistorius himself, unless you count a written affidavit that was read in court by his lawyer on Wednesday. But the athlete wanted this bail decision desperately, and as Nair handed down his judgment on Friday, it must have meant as much to Pistorius as any of his triumphs on the track, where he became the first double amputee to compete in both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

Pretoria Central Prison, where he would have been remanded if denied bail, is by all accounts a godforsaken place – a dirty, noisy, violent, crowded, dangerous and soul-destroying jail that no one, especially a famous, white, wealthy, amputee superstar wants to spend time at.
Yet even more significantly for Pistorius' potential future liberty is the reality that under South African legal regulations defendants who are bailed are widely considered to have significant advantages come trial time.
"It is hugely preferable for the defense to have the accused out on bail rather than being incarcerated," legal expert Manny Voets told 567 The Cape radio. "If the accused is in prison, you have to schedule appointments to visit, there is limited time and you are in a small room.
"Being out of prison is much easier. He can be seen in chambers and the preparation for defending the case is just much smoother. It is definitely preferable and can be very important in cases."
Pistorius will be relieved to be out of Pretoria Magistrates Court, where he spent four tense days under heavy scrutiny, much of it in floods of tears. While Pistorius could often maintain his composure during the more technical aspects of the legal deliberations, he would generally break down into sobs and gasps whenever assertions from either counsel turned to the actual events of Valentine's Day morning.
His equilibrium was tested fully on Friday morning, as prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his final push for the denial of bail by going firmly on the attack. Nel was adamant that the prosecution would assert Steenkamp had fled to the toilet at Pistorius' luxury residence in the Silver Lakes community either to "escape an argument or a gun."
He also claimed Pistorius may have had his defense – his belief that an intruder had entered the house – prepared before the actual shooting took place.
"I have my gun, I want to shoot her, and when they ask me, I'll say it was an intruder," said Nel, giving his interpretation of what he believed to be the runner's mindset. "As soon as they confront me, I'll say it was a burglar."
Pistorius' sister Aimee and other members of his support looked disgusted at the suggestion, and were similarly unimpressed when Nel insisted he posed a flight risk, highlighting his access to a property in Italy where he has regularly trained during the European track season.
Nel likened the matter to that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and avoiding extradition to Sweden where he is facing allegations of sexual assault.
After Nel also issued stout criticism of Pistorius for not personally taking the stand, defense counsel Barry Roux argued for a charge of culpable homicide, a lesser charge than murder, and claimed that any intent to kill an intruder could not be read as intent to kill Steenkamp.
Roux also pounced on the holes in the evidence put forward by the stumbling testimony of Botha. That disastrous second afternoon for the prosecution marked the turning point from which the prosecution could not recover.
The bail ruling opens the possibility that Pistorius could return to athletic training, with his running coach Ampie Loew insisting he would like to see the 400-meter star back in training as early as Monday as a means to shifting his mind onto more positive things than the bloody events of Valentine's Day morning and the fatal shooting of Steenkamp.


(curled from REUTERS)


Like ·  · 
  • Monday Ohi Obadan Hmmmm! I think to err is human to forgive is divine...even the bible in the book of Deutronomy stated that if one unintentionally kill another should be given safe haven in a secured place..As a first offender and a major athelete who has gladden the heart of billions of people with his rare courage as an amputee-athlete, justice in this case should be tempered with mercy...even Moses was forgiven when he killed an egyptian in self-defence.
    18 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Onero D Nero I hope they at least make him wear a stump monitor, so they can track where he goes or they should just take his fake legs then he won't be going anywhere..
  • Evans Links Ofosu A compromised ming-blogging judicial system which has one again leave its prints on the Africa quest to rule cases of these hold. The Hague would've been the best option 4 a 1st degree case as such. Hweva, i cant wait 4 d trial to begin. A misplaced slavish and sleazy ruling! Africa!
  • Uchechukwu Blessing Oforma Hmmmm.....only God can see hidden things.
  • Thelma Akpata No One mistakenly takes 4shots dummy!!
  • David Oyadongha · 5 mutual friends
    2 me i felt he kill d babe 4 selfish reasons 2 satisfy his ego, probably d babe might av done something un-imaginable dat he cannot let go.
  • Nnem Ezeani too bad
  • Nnem Ezeani too bad
  • Mercy Ebere Dats wht suit him by collecting his firemans and passports so dat he cant runaway.i also heard dat the lead prosecutor is been charge of murder,they hv remove him and put another prosecuter.
    13 hours ago · Unlike · 1
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