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Where in the world can you murder someone and then get bail so you can earn some money? Oscar Pistorius

(46 Posts)
vivizone Thu 28-Mar-13 12:05:11

South Africa is crazy

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/28/oscar-pistorius-permission-leave-south-africa

Oscar Pistorius granted permission to leave South Africa to compete

Lawyers for athlete appealed against his bail restrictions, saying he might eventually need to return to track to earn money

A South African judge has ruled that Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with murdering his girlfriend, can leave South Africa to compete in international athletics competitions.

Lawyers for the Olympic and Paralympic athlete had appealed against some of his bail restrictions on Thursday, saying he might eventually need to return to track competition to earn money.

They argued their client, who is charged with premeditated murder after shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead on 14 Februrary, was being treated as a flight risk even though a magistrate ruled last month that he was not when he released the double-amputee runner on bail.

The court has, however, imposed conditions on Pistorius should he wish to travel. He must provide authorities with his travel plans at least a week before he leaves the country, and must return his passport to the court within 24 hours of returning to South Africa.

Lawyer Barry Roux said Pistorius has no desire to return to the track now, but "this might and this will change".

Pistorius claims he killed Steenkamp accidentally when he fired shots through a door in his bathroom in the pre-dawn hours, fearing there was an intruder in his house. Prosecutors say he shot the model and reality TV star intentionally after they argued, and they have charged him with premeditated murder.

Pistorius was not required to attend his appeal hearing and neither he nor any of his family members were present at North Gauteng high court in Pretoria.

SirChenjin Thu 28-Mar-13 12:07:24

I thought this might happen....the arrogance of the man is staggering. Surely to goodness he wouldn't actually think of competing, would he??

He hasn't been convicted of murder yet. Yes, he did kill her but no one has yet proved that he murdered her.

currentbuns Thu 28-Mar-13 12:17:50

This is sickening. I dread to think how her poor family must feel.

chickenfactory Thu 28-Mar-13 12:23:18

So nobody should work while on bail? Even if they are eventually found to be innocent?

thezebrawearspurple Thu 28-Mar-13 12:26:33

I can't believe they gave him permission to leave the country! Not sure there will be many countries lining up to welcome him though, they'll never get rid.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 28-Mar-13 12:26:52

The point is that he should never have been released on bail. Then this added complication wouldn't have arisen. In the UK, I would imagine it's almost unheard of for someone to be charged with murder then released on bail. (Could be talking out my arse of course).

SirChenjin Thu 28-Mar-13 12:27:37

He killed his girlfriend and an innocent woman who must have spent her last minutes on this earth in abject terror - whether or not it's murder or manslaughter he should show a bit of moral decency and keep his head down until after he is proved innocent.

MichelleRooJnr Thu 28-Mar-13 12:31:14

Well - probably quite a few places actually.
And certainly here.
A person will usually only be remanded while bailed if there is a risk of them re-offending or they are a serious flight or suicide risk.
Murder is usually fairly victim-specific, and someone who is facing charges of murdering someone would not usually be a risk of killing anyone else.
So - why not have them do something worthwhile like work rather than take up precious prison space if its not in the interests of public safety?
He has not been convicted yet.

currentbuns Thu 28-Mar-13 12:31:39

There does seem to be a groundswell of apologist claptrap sympathy and support for OP... The man killed his girlfriend. Irrespective of the circumstances, he should not be globetrotting or pursuing his career until he has been tried. The very fact that he even applied for an easing of his bail restrictions suggests an extraordinary level of arrogance and disrespect for the victim's family.

currentbuns Thu 28-Mar-13 12:32:22

Cross-posts SirChenjin

SoupDreggon Thu 28-Mar-13 12:34:55

Where in the world can you murder someone and then get bail so you can earn some money?

Probably anywhere.

Bridgetbidet Thu 28-Mar-13 12:48:53

He's not been convicted of anything yet. If this was any other person in any other profession provided that their employer was okay to let them continue working and it posed no risk to others, then why not?

Let justice take it's course. Stopping him from earning a living just from some kneejerk mob response without him even being tried yet wouldn't be justice.

KellyElly Thu 28-Mar-13 12:54:16

So nobody should work while on bail? Even if they are eventually found to be innocent? Not if it involves leaving the country when you are accused of murder.

BegoniaBampot Thu 28-Mar-13 12:59:19

I used to sit next to guy at the park who would be discussing his upcoming case with his solicitor. He was on bail for his wife's murder so yes you can get bail in the UK. Not that I was earwigging or anything.

vivi
Whilst I can understand why you have posted your shock at him wanting to vary his bail restrictions your post did concern me.

The presumption of innocence is vital to justice. There is no question that he caused Reeva's death but he has not committed murder until he is convicted of that crime. None of us really know what happened that night. If you start deciding guilt and innocent based on garbled press reports, police statements and limited evidence for bail hearings where does it end. So unless and until he is convicted he hasn't committed murder.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 28-Mar-13 13:09:43

If he's a flight risk, he shouldn't have been granted bail. But he was. So, from a legal standpoint, which is where the judge's interest lies, leaving the country is no different. He will, presumably, return for his trial.

From a moral standpoint, it's abhorrent. But I don't think this is the judge's remit.

megandraper Thu 28-Mar-13 13:09:48

Don't most people accused of a crime carry on working until the trial? I don't have any personal experience, but would have thought that was the case! What would they live on if they didn't work?

SirChenjin Thu 28-Mar-13 13:18:57

I suspect that Oscar really isn't on the breadline. Whether or not he should do what he's doing from a legal pov is one thing - he was originally prevented from travelling after he was granted bail, but has decided now to appeal that - but the stronger arguement for whether or not he should travel and compete should perhaps be a moral question for the man.

He's obviously decided that his moral code dictates that after killing an innocent woman he should, just a few weeks later while her family are still in the depths of their grief, appeal his original bail term and get back to his normal life competing at international level and earning big bucks.

Interesting decision for someone who is supposed to be a broken, devastated man.

LisasCat Thu 28-Mar-13 13:22:09

How is someone supposed to pay for a defence lawyer if they're prohibited from working while awaiting trial? This case will cost Pistorius £100,000s in legal fees. Would you rather the state pick up the cost? He needs to earn money to access his entitlement to legal defence, and for him the earnings are abroad.
I don't quite understand why so many of you assume he'll not return. Who exactly is going to harbor one of the most high-profile murder suspects in the world? Which government would have anything to gain by doing that? The Assange case is different, because there's an element of 'socking it to the US', but I'm not aware of anyone who stands to benefit by making a political point to SA.

monsterchild Thu 28-Mar-13 13:26:43

He's not such a flight risk as everyone in the world knows who he is. He can't just disappear, a double amputee runner from AS is a pretty specific person. Disappearing is a lot harder than it used to be.
Think of all the vigilant people like you OP who would totally post his whereabouts on Facebook or here for the police to find him.

Mumsyblouse Thu 28-Mar-13 13:28:12

Well, he intended to shoot someone, even if it wasn't her. So, he cannot be innocent of all crimes, even if it is not the one with which he is currently charged.

Boomtastic Thu 28-Mar-13 13:35:40

He's not such a flight risk as everyone in the world knows who he is. He can't just disappear, a double amputee runner from AS is a pretty specific person. Disappearing is a lot harder than it used to be.

He doesn't have to disappear, just get into a country with no extradition treaty with SA.

vivizone Thu 28-Mar-13 13:36:36

You're correct ChazsBrilliantAttitude. I sometimes get ahead of myself. I am still shocked though.

Would a not famous man from South Africa actually get bailed and be allowed to travel?

I am going to say something that will probably get me in stick but I believe it does pay to be a powerful white male.

SirChenjin Thu 28-Mar-13 13:39:45

Lisa - did you watch the trial and hear his financial status? He can already afford the defence from his current assets.

I don't think it's a case of him disappearing - although I would imagine there are countries he could get to without having to worry about deportation as such - but it's certainly a moral question of whether or not he should have appealed the original decision on the grounds that he now wants to compete in international athletics.

Given the high profile nature of this tragic case and the grief that he has brought to a family I would have thought he would do better to keep his head down, abide by the judge's original decision, and show respect to them and the woman he killed.

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