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Olympian Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail in Girlfriend’s Murder Case

February 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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RAY SUAREZ: Finally tonight: the Oscar Pistorius story.

The South African double-amputee athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend was released today on bail. The case has captured international attention.

We begin with a report from Rohit Kachroo of Independent Television News in Pretoria.

ROHIT KACHROO: Moments after the judgment, the brother and sister of Oscar Pistorius embraced. Their father seemed overcome with the news that his son would soon be freed from custody.

For four days, this courtroom has been a theater for this unfolding drama, for them, a stage for public pain. But their response to the ruling was to stand, to link arms, and to pray. Pistorius was here seeking bail, accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

He sobbed as the events of Valentine’s morning were outlined. His lawyer whispered, “You’re going to be OK.” “Thank you, sir,” the response.

Then, later, the judgment was delivered, followed by celebration from his supporters.

DESMOND NAIR, Chief Magistrate: I have come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.

MAN: Yes!

ROHIT KACHROO: The magistrate ruled that the state witness was weak and Oscar Pistorius presented no flight risk. Then, speaking on behalf of his family, Oscar’s uncle told of their relief.

ARNOLD PISTORIUS, Uncle of Oscar Pistorius: We know that that is the truth, and that will prevail in the coming court cases.

Yes, we are relieved that — the fact that Oscar got bail today. But, at the same time, we are in mourning for the death of Reeva with her family.

ROHIT KACHROO: But, as his brother left, his elation seemed to fade. There is a long road ahead, he conceded.

And that journey began on the streets of Pretoria, as Pistorius was driven from court into the suburbs, glimpsed briefly after the conditions of his bail were agreed. He will stay with a friend and will return to court in June.