Saturday 21 October 2017

Oscar Pistorius laughs with lawyer as he is granted bail of €630 to appeal murder conviction

Oscar Pistorius (L) speaks with his defence advocate Barry Roux in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015
Oscar Pistorius (L) speaks with his defence advocate Barry Roux in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015
Oscar Pistorius (R) speaks to his lawyer Barry Roux at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa during a bail hearing December 8, 2015.
Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing December 8, 2015.
Oscar Pistorius, right, consults with his defense lawyer Barry Roux in a courtroom of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015
Pistorius confers with his lawyer
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015

A South African judge has granted bail to Oscar Pistorius, pending sentencing for his murder conviction.

His lawyer Barry Roux said during the application for bail on the murder conviction that the athlete would appeal the Supreme Court ruling at the country's top court. It was not immediately clear on what ground the appeal would be based on.

His bail was set at 10,000 rand (€633).

Pistorius is allowed to leave his house between 7am and 12pm within a radius of 20kms of his uncle's home.

Oscar Pistorius' defence advocate Barry Roux arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015
Oscar Pistorius' defence advocate Barry Roux arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015

His next court appearance is scheduled on 18 April. In the meantime, he has to surrender his passport to the authorities.

Barry Roux also requested bail for the double-amputee runner in a court hearing in Pretoria, saying stricter conditions including electronic monitoring would be appropriate.

"He is a well-known person, he's got a disability," Mr Roux said, arguing that Pistorius would not attempt to flee. "He has abided by all the bail conditions, all the time."

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, however, 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," MR Nel said.

He suggested that any movements by Pistorius be restricted with electronic monitoring to a six-mile (10km) radius around his uncle's home, where he is under house arrest.

Pistorius is currently allowed some freedom of movement outside the home. He was placed under house arrest in October after serving one year of a five-year prison sentence for the earlier manslaughter conviction.

Pistorius was dressed in a dark suit during Tuesday's court appearance. His demeanor was calm and he spoke softly with his lawyer and others before proceedings began.

He has rarely been seen in public while under house arrest.

Last weekend, a South African newspaper published a photograph of Pistorius sitting in a car. On November 14, a video shot on a mobile phone emerged of Pistorius reporting to a Pretoria police station as part of his community service. On his 29th birthday last month, a relative tweeted a photograph of a smiling Pistorius surrounded by children.

Pistorius travelled to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday from his uncle's home, where he has been under house arrest for an earlier manslaughter conviction.

That conviction was thrown out last week by an appeals court which instead determined that Pistorius was guilty of the more serious charge of murder over the fatal shooting of Miss Steenkamp at the runner's home on Valentine's Day 2013.

The former track star's lawyer did not say on what basis he would be appealing over the murder conviction at the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court.

A date for sentencing on the murder conviction has not yet been set.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, though a judge can reduce that sentence for what the law describes as exceptional circumstances.

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