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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.