Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail
This may have been the most long and drawn out bail decision ever. It went one way, then the other, for over an hour. It wasn't until the last 2 minutes you knew Oscar Pistorius was getting bail.
Here are the main points expressed by the judge in making his findings and rulings: [More...]
Magistrate Nair does not think the state has a strong case. It is all circumstantial, but that is sufficient enough for a category 6 offense.
To grant bail, exceptional circumstances are needed.
If defence is able to show the state has a weak case, that would be an exceptional circumstance.
Investigator Botha made several mistakes and concessions. He blundered on the testosterone. He failed to get the phone records. He didn't check on the calls Oscar made. He didn't check out potential violent threats alleged to have been made by Oscar. He compromised the crime scene. He didn't test the theories in the Oscar's affidavit. He conceded that Reeva would have locked herself in toilet if Oscar shouted. He didn't find a spent bullet in the toilet the defense recovered.
Nair: I cannot agree with the contention that the concessions and credibility of the Detective means State case is not strong.
Nair: This court is placed with no option but to place weight on what is before me.
In as much as the defence has found concessions, the improbabilities highlighted by Investigator Botha are pronounced.
I have difficulty with why the accused didn't ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend. Also why the deceased would not scream.
"I have a problem also with why the accused would venture further into danger... What if the intruder was waiting for him?" Why would the accused venture into danger knowing the intruder was in the bathroom?
The defence has failed to show exceptional circumstances. But the State can't show that its own case is so strong and watertight that Oscar must choose to flee or evade trial.
(Oscar is sobbing, clasping tissue and head in hands)
Why would the accused duck and dive all over the world when at best he faces culpable homicide??
I cannot find that the accused is a flight risk.
The accused has shown tendencies in aggression, says Nair. The threats, foul language, accidental gun shot not in dispute
The state has placed evidence under oath that the accused has a propensity to commit violence. But Botha did not spend enough time to show the accused has a propensity to commit violence.
"No one has put concrete evidence before me that he has a propensity to commit violence."
There are no grounds for denying bail on claims of having a violent past
Nair cites case law holding that the court shouldn't ignore the personal circumstances of a bail applicant. Cites more case law.
If release on bail would cause outrage, the state should have shown me where this shock and outrage would be, says Nair. "I would need to have evidence before me in that regard." It seems release would not cause public outrage.
"The accused is not a flight risk and does not show a propensity to violence." Nair finds state has not shown grounds to deny bail.
"One should differentiate between individuals with previous convictions or outstanding matters against them and those who don't."
"Ordinarily one gets flimsy affidavits but in this instance the accused has reached out to try to meet the state's case."
"I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail."
Bailed is fixed at an amount of R1 million (1 million Rand) including R100,000 in cash.
He will be staying at an undisclosed location (not his house, which is the one in the photo above.)
The next setting is June 4.
And with that (and some more bail conditions) #OscarPistorius walks out of court.
Congratulations, Barry Roux.
And many thanks to the overseas media for their live-tweeting of the hearings, especially @BarryBateman (Eyewitness News);@KarenMaughan (legal journalist);@BBCAndrewH (BBC's Andrew Harding); David Smith (The Guardian); @AlexCrawford (Sky News.)
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