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South African track athlete Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail while awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius, 26, is charged with the murder Steenkamp, who was shot and killed on Valentine’s Day. Police state that Pistorius killed his girlfriend, who was hiding in his bathroom, after an argument. Pistorius says that the shot was an accident, and he only fired because he believed that she was an intruder.
Before giving the ruling, Magistrate Desmond Nair reviewed all of the statements and evidence. According to USA Today, Nair stated, “The issue is not guilt but whether the interests of justice (are served) in relation to bail. I am not seized with finding beyond reasonable doubt whether he committed premeditated murder... At this stage, I have to examine the facts the state has presented -- all the state has right now is circumstantial evidence.”
BBC News reports that Pistorius’s bail was 1 million rand ($113,000) and he will return to court on June 4. At this time, the track star has been ordered to give up his passport, avoid speaking to any of the prosecution’s witnesses, and to refrain from any drug or alcohol use.
USA Today reports that Andre Van Biljoen of Johannesburg stated, “No doubt that he wanted to kill her. If you look at this attitude at the Paralympics, you can see this guy is a narcissist.”
Pistorius’s uncle, Arnold Pistorius, revealed after the court session that, “We are relieved by the fact that Oscar got bail today, but at the same time, we are in mourning for Reeva Steenkamp and her family."