South Africa's Pistorius goes free on $113,000 bail

Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:35pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Peroshni Govender

PRETORIA (Reuters) - A South African court granted bail on Friday to Oscar Pistorius, charged with the murder of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, after his lawyers successfully argued the "Blade Runner" was too famous to flee justice.

The decision by Magistrate Desmond Nair drew cheers from the Paralympics star's family and supporters. Pistorius himself was unmoved, in marked contrast to the week-long hearing, when he repeatedly broke down in tears.

Nair set bail at 1 million rand ($113,000) and postponed the case until June 4. Pistorius would be released only when the court received 100,000 rand in cash, he added.

Less than an hour later, a silver Land Rover left the court compound, Pistorius visible through the tinted windows sitting in the back seat in the dark suit and tie he wore in court.

The car then sped off through the streets of the capital, pursued by members of the media on motorcycles, before it entered his uncle Arnold's home in the plush Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof.

At least five private security guards stood outside the concrete walls, keeping reporters at bay.

Under the terms of his bail, Pistorius, 26, was also ordered to hand over firearms and his two South African passports, avoid his home and all witnesses, report to a police station twice a week and abstain from drinking alcohol.

The decision followed a week of dramatic testimony about how the athlete shot dead model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury home near Pretoria in the early hours of February 14.   Continued...

 
Oscar Pistorius stands at the dock before the start of proceedings at a Pretoria magistrates court February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings