Oscar Pistorius granted bail, to appeal murder conviction

  • Agencies
  • Updated: Dec 08, 2015 14:51 IST
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa on December 8, 2015. (AP Photo)

Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was granted bail on Tuesday after his conviction for his girlfriend’s murder, as his lawyers said they would appeal to South Africa’s constitutional court.

“The case is postponed until April 16 2016. The applicant is released on bail of 10,000 rand ($690),” judge president Aubrey Ledwaba told Pretoria high court.

His lawyers argued that Pistorius would not attempt to flee.

“He is a well-known person, he’s got a disability,” attorney Barry Roux said. “He has abided by all the bail conditions, all the time.”

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Pistorius might be a flight risk, considering the severity of his crime and the possibly tough sentence that awaits him, and said conditions for bail should be extremely tight.

“We have an airport that we would not want the accused to get to,” Nel said. He suggested that any movements by Pistorius be restricted with electronic monitoring to a 10-kilometre radius around his uncle’s home, where he is under house arrest.

Last week, South Africa’s top appeals court convicted Pistorius of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, overturning an earlier culpable homicide verdict.

A date for sentencing on the murder conviction has not yet been set. Pitorius faces a 15-year prison sentence, the minimum punishment for murder in South Africa.

Pistorius, 29, killed Steenkamp in the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 by shooting her four times through a locked toilet door.

Before the appeals court convicted him for murder, he was sentenced to five years in prison for culpable homicide . Pistorius was placed under house arrest in October after serving one year in prison.

A multiple paralympic champion, Pistorius became one of the world’s most famous athletes and the first amputee to run at the Olympics and the able-bodied world championships. He was known as “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre running blades.

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