Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee Olympian and Paralympian charged with premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day was granted bail Friday.
Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair, the judge in Pretoria's Magistrate Court announced the verdict after four days of combative hearings from the defence and the prosecution.
Oscar Pistorius stands at the dock before the start of proceedings at a Pretoria magistrates court February 22, 2013.
Delivering his verdict, Nair observed: "I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail."
Several journalists and television crews from around the globe gathered in the court to hear the decision on the Steenkamp murder case that has dominated headlines, since the day the 'Blade Runner' shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death inside a locked bathroom of his home.
One of Pistorius' supporters shouted 'Yes!' when Nair announced his verdict of granting bail to the South African sprint runner, who claimed to have mistaken his girlfriend for a burglar, when he shot her in the early hours of Feb 14. Relatives of the athlete celebrated the verdict at the packed courtroom with elated hugs and prayers even as Pistorius was led outside.
Nair handed down the ruling on the fourth day of the hearing that he shall be set free on a series of conditions until the Olympian's next court appearance day scheduled June 4. The judge set bail at one million rand ($114,700 CAD) which is an unusually high amount for a murder trial in South Africa, the New York Times reported.
Pistorius was ordered to avoid his home, which is now declared as a crime scene, and asked to relinquish his firearms and passports.
The athlete was also informed that he is not allowed to be in contact with witnesses, go out of Pretoria area without official sanction or use alcohol or drugs until the trial is pending. He was also ordered to visit a police station twice a week.
"We are relieved by the fact that Oscar got bail today, but at the same time, we are in mourning for Reeva Steenkamp and her family," Arnold Pistorius, an uncle who is acting as a family spokesperson told reporters.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux told reporters that he was satisfied with the Magistrate's decision of granting bail, while stating that it was the first he had heard a convict could not drink alcohol while on bail.
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