Pistorius walks free on bail (plus Poll)

The international Circus that is Oscar Pistorius is only going to get bigger.

South African magistrate Desmond Nair has granted bail for Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian athlete star accused of murdering his girlfriend.

During his summarising of arguments on Friday, the forth day of the bail hearing, Chief Magistrate Nair said he did not believe that Pistorius was a flight risk. He added that the prosecution had failed to show that Pistorius had a propensity for violence.

The decision by Nair drew cheers from Pistorius’ family and supporters at the Pretoria magistrate’s court, although the athlete appeared unmoved as the decision was read out.

His bail conditions include

  •  Pay $11,300 of $112,000 bail in cash.
  •  Banned from drinking alcohol.
  •  Report to local police station twice a week.
  •  Avoid witnesses and home.
  •  Surrender passport.
  •  Turn in any other guns he owns.
  •  Seek permission from probation officer before leaving Pretoria district.

Oh no… here we go again… another bladder

The judge defended the investigator on one count: The judge said that there may be other reasons for the bladder of the victim, Reeva Steenkamp, to have been empty other than that she voluntarily and normally went into the the bathroom to go to the bathroom. He also said the investigator should not be considered an expert on that.

This is shaping up the be a legal shit fight.  The judge is already going to town on the way the alleged crime and scene has been investigated

The judge also addressed the clumsy investigator who gave incorrect answers on the stand (later challenged by the defense) and missed evidence at the scene. This investigator has since been dumped from the case. The judge blasted the investigator for his mistakes. He ran through a list of stupid decisions the investigator made, as well as ideas and concepts the investigator should have followed up on at the scene. The judge further said it was only the defense’s aggressive questioning of the investigator that forced him to concede that he had made mistakes.

The judge cited “improbabilities” in Pistorius’s story. He said he had difficulty understanding why Pistorius did not try to verify who was in the toilet, along with many other aspects of Pistorius’s story. For example, the judge said he has difficulty understanding why Pistorius would have slept on the opposite side of the bed that night than he normally does. The judge cited many other problems he has with Pistorius’s story.

“The defense has failed to show this court that there’s a weakness in the state’s case [that rises to the level required] to show an exceptional circumstance,” the judge said.

Similarly, the judge said, the state has not shown that the case against Pistorius is rock solid.

The judge also said the state has not shown enough evidence to prove that Pistorius had a pre-existing propensity to commit violence.

In the end, the judge decided that Pistorius’s case represented “exceptional circumstances” and granted the sprinter’s bail request

So, strap yourselves in for more of the same for the coming months as this story unfolds through the South African courts and media.

At this stage, what do you think?  Let us know in the poll below.

Oscar Pistorius - Guilty or Not Guilty?

  • Guilty (80%, 180 Votes)
  • Unsure (14%, 32 Votes)
  • Not Guilty (5%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 224

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Sources: Al Jazeera, Business Insider


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  • Orange

    Well done Tania Page on the promotion to Al Jazeera from TV3. I love to hear the NZ accent on international news programmes! Far less pretentious than the posh english one.

    • Wow. Look at the downvotes. What did she do? Killer her own mum?

      • Mr_V4

        Well maybe people remember her left-wing pieces while working in NZ media. I hope she’s still paying her ‘fair share’ of taxes while working for the Qatar based company?

        • Orange

          Oh, I didn’t know about any of that. Just nice to recognise the accent.

  • GregM

    This is going to be OJ Simpson all over again.

    • I think you might be right.

    • Ronnie Chow

      bang,(woman’s) scream , bang bang .

      Mind you , witnesses these days….

    • Travis Poulson

      And at the end of it Pistorius will want his handgun back just in case he meets someone else.

    • Gazzaw

      You mean like who with half a brain gives a flying f*** over a tawdry crime hyped up by the media for the vicarious entertainment of the masses.

      • GregM

        Yep, I’m over it already.

  • Never in the dark…..

    Guilty of what?

    Shooting her? that’s a slam dunk
    But was it pre-meditated murder? Unsure
    Culpable Homicide, as he describes? again unsure

    There are only two people who know exactly what went on in that house, and one of them is dead.

    Living under constant violent threat, on the edge, as happens in SA, results in some inexplicable behaviour from those who typically appear to be upright citizens. I knew a lot of trigger happy ‘Dutchmen’, fueled with some ‘other’ substances, they’d be rather unpredictable.

    Jail, should it come to that (and I believe it should), hinges on technical handling of the states case. The difference in jail terms, for murder vs. culpable homicide, is (up to) life vs. 5-10 years.

    • Travis Poulson

      I wish you, and also the MSM would stop using the term “premeditated murder”. There is no such thing as a premeditated murder. Murder by definition is a premeditated killing.

      Unless of course you’re meaning a premeditated premeditated homicide?

      The question being murder or manslaughter.

      • Mostly_Harmless

        Murder is intentional killing – it need not be premeditated. The decision to kill someone can be made and acted upon almost instantaneously.

        • Travis Poulson

          And the intention is the premeditation. Premeditation doesn’t mean sitting down at your desk planning it out in a 20 point plan of execution several hours beforehand. It is the killing with intention, whether it was pre planned by several hours/days or seconds before.

          • Never in the dark…..

            See my above comment.

            Premeditated: My great-grandmother was raped and murdered by a pair of thugs at 91. It was premeditated. They expressly invaded her home, a small flat in Durban, with the intent to rape and strangle her. They said as much. The theft of personal belongings was the cherry on top. It was also their undoing, as they were trying to hawk the stuff outside her building. Both copped double death penalties, one each for the rape and then one each for the murder. I was 9 at the time.

            Non-premeditated: My best mate was murdered in his restaurant in Johannesburg. We’d had an extremely busy Monday night in the restaurant and pub, Trev’s nights off. The till takings were huge.
            He was stabbed 27 times early the next morning, with a steak knife by Purchase, a ‘friend’ and former employee. A guy I quite like, someone who I had worked with and trained. He saw how much money was in the safe on that fateful Tuesday morning, grabbed a knife from the adjoining scullery and laid into Trev, grabbed the money and fled.

            As it was spur of the moment thing, he was charged with ‘culpable homicide’. But the judge said “while this offence was not in itself premeditated, the severity of the offence, and the fact that he had the victims trust, I must sentence you to the fullest extent of the law”. He was dealt to before the moratorium and the subsequent abolition of the death penalty took place.

      • Never in the dark…..

        Travis, you must understand, I’m speaking from a South African point of view, where there are ‘degrees of murder’, for want of a better term.

        By premeditated, I mean “he tucked the gun under his pillow with the specific intention of using it to shoot the other party at a later point in time.”

        In terms of SA law this is the definition of premeditated, whereas ‘suddenly pulling out a gun and shooting someone, without prior intention, is not and it typically attracts a ‘lesser murder charge’.

        This would also hold true for someone killing an intruder in self defence. But the defence strategy is always “I only intended to injure!”, which is where the ‘culpable homicide’ charge comes in.

        The closest we have to it here in NZ is ‘manslaughter’.

  • blazer

    Pisto sounds about as plausible as David Bain imo.