South African court grants Pistorius bail after murder conviction

A South African court grants bail to paralympian Oscar Pistorius after he is convicted of murder for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (DECEMBER 8, 2015) (REUTERS) – A South African court on Tuesday (December 8) granted bail to paralympian Oscar Pistorius after he was convicted of murder for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, with the judge saying the athlete did not pose a flight risk.

The Supreme Court last Thursday (December 3) revised the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence.

Known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend. A new sentence will be handed down at a later date.

Barry Roux, Pistorius’s defence advocate said they would be looking to appeal the murder conviction.

Ideally this appeal would be heard by the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa.

Failing a win there, Pistorius would head back to his trial court for sentencing.

Legal analyst, Brenda Wardle said:

“There are no grounds to approach the Constitutional Court because when you approach the Constitutional Court, one, they need leave to appeal from the Supreme Court of Appeal and we saw a unanimous decision by the full bench agreeing with the prosecution on two of the reserved legal questions… If that leave to appeal now is then dismissed it means Oscar Pistorius comes back and the sentencing proceedings continue.”

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said they’ve only just heard of appeal on Tuesday.

“We have not been served with any legal papers, we only heard in court today that they will be launching an appeal, once we receive their papers, they will outline the grounds on which they actually are articulating their appeal on,” said

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku.

Pistorius will remain under house arrest at his uncle’s Waterkloof mansion with an electronic monitoring device to make sure he does not leave the territory as set out in his bail conditions