• Oscar Pistorius case

Pistorius bail ruling due at lunchtime

ESPN staff
February 22, 2013
Oscar Pistorius is waitng to hear if he will be granted bail © AP

Magistrate Desmond Nair has confirmed he will rule on Oscar Pistorius' bail application at 12.30pm on Friday.

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp who was found dead at the athlete's home last week.

The Paralympian's defence team say Pistorius shot Steenkamp, 29, in a tragic accident, mistaking her for an intruder in his Pretoria home.

Prosecutors have told the court it was a premeditated murder, with Pistorius firing four shots through a locked toilet door.

After three days of defence and prosecution sparring, prosecutor Gerrie Nel summed up his case.

Nel began his summing-up by making reference to Pistorius issuing a written affidavit rather than speaking directly, claiming it was an indication that he does not take the proceedings seriously

The prosecutor added that the way the affidavit was read out was saying Pistorius had done nothing wrong. Nel says that increases his flight risk. In suggesting Pistorius was a flight risk, Nel said the athlete has vast wealth and that South Africa does not have extradition agreements with every country. He made reference to Julian Assange, who took sanctuary in a London embassy, while Nel also suggested 'it's a possibility' that Pistorius could go as far as to change his face.

Pistorius' defence have made it clear that the athlete was in fear of his life as he felt an intruder had entered the property. Pistorius said that he screamed to Steenkamp to call the police prior to opening fire. That version was questioned by Nel who asked why would a woman, in a toilet, when someone shouts out her name, not reply?

Pistorius' defence stated that Steenkamp went to the toilet while he went outside to bring in a fan. Nel said that it was improbable that in the time Pistorius went to the balcony, Steenkamp went to toilet without him noticing. Nel suggested that they would have had to have passed each other as she walked to the bathroom and he back from the balcony.

Following a brief adjournment, defence lawyer Roux offered advice to the prosecution by saying if he was prosecuting he would be pressing for culpable homicide. "He did not want to kill Reeva," Roux said.

Roux also countered the prosecution claim that Pistorius was a flight risk. Roux said it causes a commotion every time he goes through an airport, his legs need constant maintenance and he needs medical attention for his stumps.'

"All the factors are present to show that he is not a flight risk," Roux declared.

Nair confirmed following Roux's summing up that he would rule at 2.30pm local time (12.30pm GMT).

More to follow when the magistrate makes his ruling

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