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Pistorius Murder Trial: 'The Accused Has Made a Case to be Released on Bail'

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, accused of murder, was released on bail today in South Africa.



Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair has granted bail to Oscar Pistorius. "The accused has made a case to be released on bail," Nair said at approximately 4:23 p.m. South African time.

Prosecutors do not accept the sprinter's explanation that he accidentally shot dead the model after mistaking her for a burglar. They have charged him with "premeditated murder" because of relationship problems.

Steenkamp was found by medics in the early hours of Thursday last week at Pistorius's luxury Pretoria home covered in bloodied towels, with bullet wounds to her head, elbow and hip. She died at the scene.

In a statement read out in court earlier this week Pistorius said that he had fired at the door of the bathroom as he was "filled with horrible fear" that someone had sneaked in through an open window in the dead of night.

The 26-year-old athlete has previously said he kept a gun in his bedroom because of fears of violent burglary.

The Olympian and Paralympian sprinter, who has been in police custody for over a week, could face months or perhaps years in pre-trial detention if he does not win bail.

"There will be a level of shock in this country if he is not released," said Roux to murmurs of agreement from Pistorius family members sitting in the gallery.

But prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Thursday pointed out gaps in Pistorius' own account of the shooting.

"He fired four shots, not one. He meant to kill. On his own version, he's bound to be convicted," said Nel.

Under South African law someone who kills without immediate threat can be charged with murder.

Pistorius also could not explain how he ran past his bed twice without realising Steenkamp wasn't there.

"You want to protect her but you don't look at her?" Nel asked sarcastically, as the athlete huddled sobbing quietly.

Pistorius cut a sorry figure sitting alone in the dock, having lost weight and showing several grey hairs.

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