Magistrate Grants Pistorius Bail; Track Star Will Remain Free Until Trial

PRETORIA, South Africa (February 22, 2013)--Double-amputee track star Oscar Pistorius was allowed to go free Friday, as he awaits trial in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend after a magistrate in South Africa granted bail Friday following four days of arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyers.

The magistrate said the affidavit from Pistorius, in which he gave his version of the events that took place in his home, helped his application for bail.

Pistorius left the courthouse Friday a little more than an hour after a magistrate set his bail at $113,000 and ordered him to turn over passports and any other weapons he owns.

His next court appearance isn’t until June.

The magistrate ordered that Pistorius could not return to his home in a gated community east of Pretoria, where Pistorius shot and killed model Reeva Steenkamp in the predawn hours of Feb. 14.

The athlete said he shot her accidentally, thinking she was an intruder in his house, but prosecutors said the shooting followed a loud argument between the two and argue that he intended to kill her.

They’ve charged him with premeditated murder.

Defense lawyers said they were satisfied with the bail decision, which prosecutors opposed, arguing that Pistorius was a flight risk.

Pistorius' uncle says family members were "relieved" that he was released on bail, but that they were "in mourning" for Steenkamp.

Last year Pistorius became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics.

He is known as the Blade Runner because of the high-tech artificial legs he uses.


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