Oscar Pistorius granted bail

Updated: Friday, 22 Feb 2013 23:11

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail in the investigation into the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February.

Magistrate Desmond Nair gave his decision in a lenghty ruling in the court in Pretoria this afternoon.

He said that the State had not proved that Mr Pistorius is a flight risk or has a propensity for violence.

Mr Pistorius' family and supporters cheered when the magistrate delivered his ruling.

The judge set the bail amount at one million rand (€85,200) in cash and guarantees.

Mr Pistorius was ordered to report to a local police station twice a week, ordered to avoid his home and witnesses, and has to surrender his passport. He has also been banned from drinking alcohol and he must hand over firearms to police.

The case has been postponed to 4 June.

The decision followed a week of dramatic testimony about how the athlete shot dead his Ms Steenkamp at his luxury home near Pretoria.

Defence lawyers had said the athlete shot Ms Steenkamp by mistake believing an intruder was in his home.

Prosecutors told the court it was a premeditated murder, with Mr Pistorius firing four shots through a locked toilet door at a cowering Ms Steenkamp on the other side.

She was hit in the head, arm and hip.

Witnesses said they heard gunshots and screams from the home in a gated community surrounded by high stone walls and topped with an electric fence.

Mr Pistorius said he was acting in self-defence, mistaking the 30-year-old model and law graduate for an intruder and feeling vulnerable because he was unable to attach his prosthetic limbs in time to confront the threat.

In an affidavit read to the court, the 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic sprinter said he grabbed a 9mm pistol from under his bed and went into the bathroom.

He described how he fired into the locked toilet door in a blind panic in the mistaken belief that the intruder was inside.

Bail hearings in South Africa allow for prosecutors and defence lawyers to lay out their basic arguments, based on preliminary evidence.

Police pulled their lead detective off the athlete's case yesterday after it emerged he himself faces attempted murder charges for shooting at a minibus.