Magistrate Desmond Nair has granted bail to Oscar Pistorius in Reeva Steenkamp murder case. Giving his decision in a packed Pretoria court Desmond Nair said none of the factors for refusing bail have been established by the prosecution.
Magistrate has fixed the bail amount at 1 million rand: a cash amount of 100,000 rand to be deposited where the accused will be detained, plus a further 900,000 rand as a guarantee and surety, the Guardian reported.
Below is the audio telecast of the ruling posted by Aki Anastasiou of South Africa's Talk Radio 702 on YouTube.
South African sporting hero Pistorius - a double amputee Olympian and Paralympian who uses prosthetic legs - was seeking bail after he was arrested for killing his 29-year-old model-girlfriend, in a Pretoria court.
The prosecution had argued that Pistorius was a cold-blooded murderer, who killed Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February at his luxurious home in a gated community in Pretoria, South Africa.
The defense lawyers had refuted the prosecution claim of premeditated murder and said that Pistorius killed Steenkamp by "mistake".
The court's decision on his bail plea came after a week of dramatic arguments and counter arguments by the prosecution and defense on the happenings of the day Steenkamp was killed.
According to prosecution, Pistorius fired four shots at Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door at his home.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the Pretoria Magistrate's court that the accused, armed with a 9mm pistol on his prosthetic legs, walked seven metres from his bedroom to a closed bathroom and fired four times through the door fatally wounding Steenkamp. Prosecution indicated that the model was shot in a tiny bathroom, where the cowering woman had locked herself.
"You cannot put yourself in the deceased's position. It must have been terrifying. It was not one shot. It was four shots," prosecutor Nel said on Friday.
The defense lawyers argued that killing Steenkamp was not murder as he claimed that there is no basis for the inference that Pistorius knew it was Steenkamp behind the closed doors, the New York Times reported. Defense lawyer Barry Roux described the incident as a "tragic mistake" by the athlete.
They further said Pistorius poses no threat of flight as he is too famous to go in hiding.
"He can never go anywhere unnoticed," his lawyer Barry Roux told the court on Friday, Reuters reported.
Referring to his move to restrict the media from covering the court proceedings, Nair had said before giving the ruling that he wanted to avoid the distorting effects of televised hearings. He said he appreciates the need for freedom of expression and has tried to accommodate the press wherever he could, The Guardian reported.