(PRETORIA, South Africa) — South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius is spending time with his family on Saturday after the athlete was freed on $113,000 bail Friday.
“We realise that the law must run its course, and we would not have it any other way,” the Olympian’s uncle, Arnold Pistorius said in a statement on Saturday.
The Pistorius family expressed their gratitude that the former Olympian was allowed out of jail before the trial.
“This constitutes a moment of relief under these otherwise very grave circumstances” said Arnold Pistorius.”We are extremely thankful that Oscar is now home.”
Pistorius, 26, is charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
While the prosecution argued that the world-renowned athlete was a flight risk and had a history of violence, South African Magistrate Desmond Nair, who presided over the case, disagreed.
“He regards South Africa as his permanent place of abode, he has no intention to relocate to any other country” Nair said during his two hour ruling, before concluding with, “the accused has made the case to be released on bail.”
Pistorius will have to adhere to strict conditions to stay out of jail before the trial. He must give up all his guns, he cannot drink alcohol or return to the home where the shooting occurred, and he must check in with a police department twice a week.
Oscar Pistorius is believed to be staying at an uncle’s house as he awaits trial.
During the hearing, the prosecution argued that Pistorius shot Steenkamp after an argument, while the defense laid out an alternate version of events saying Pistorius mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.
Nair took issue with the head detective originally in charge of the case, who he said “blundered” in gathering evidence and was removed from the case after it was revealed he is facing attempted murder charges.
After the magistrate’s decision, cheers erupted in the courtroom from the Pistorius camp. Pistorius’ trial is expected to start in six to eight months, with his next pre-trial court date in June.
Reeva Steenkamp Family Reaction
Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp told the South African Beeld newspaper that the 26-year-old athlete will “suffer” if he is lying about accidentally shooting 29-year-old model.
Barry Steenkamp went on to say that the Pistorius will have to “live with his conscience” if he intentionally shot Reeva.
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