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Oscar Pistorius granted bail

By Emcfarnon  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

Oscar Pistorius pic

Oscar Pistorius has been freed on bail

Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend, has been freed on bail.

Magistrate Desmond Nair concluded none of the factors for refusing bail have been established.

He said he did not find Pistorius a flight risk, and past incidents as discussed in court were not enough to establish a propensity towards violence.

In his ruling, which took almost two hours, he also said he does not think granting bail would cause public outrage.

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The magistrate said there was only circumstantial evidence against Pistorius.

Bail is fixed at one million rand, the Guardian reports: a cash amount of 100,000 rand to be deposited where the accused will be detained, plus a further 900,000 rand as a guarantee and surety.

Pistorius cried “yes” as the ruling was announced, and his family were reported to be praying in a circle.

Pistorius denies murder, saying he shot Reeva Steenkamp thinking she was an intruder at his home.

Before announcing the ruling, Nair reiterated his job is not to ascertain guilt but where the interests of justice lie in relation to bail.

Pistorius sobbed and shook as the magistrate repeated his friends' words about the couple being deeply in love.

The judge cited a statement from Sam Greyvenstein, Steenkamp's best friend, which said Steenkamp told her Pistorius treated her “like gold”.

Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, was shot dead at the athlete's property in the Silver Woods gated community in eastern Pretoria on February 14.

The pair had been dating since November 2012 and “had nothing but love for each other,” Steenkamp's best friend said in a statement read out in court on Tuesday.

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