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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

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.

TheCraicDealer Wed 03-Apr-13 11:43:08

Frankly I'd love to see what reception he gets if he managed to wangle this and travel for "work". His agent is bullshitting, trying to convince the world that his client is the same desirable, valuable commodity that he was before Valentines Day. Newsflash, mate- he isn't. This has irreparably damaged his career.

I don't think the actions of his legal team are any reflection on him. Having terms made less restrictive and making their clients' lives more palatable is how they earn their fee.

difficultpickle Wed 03-Apr-13 10:38:48

His agent was on Sportsweek (Radio 5) last Sunday. It was one of the most offensive interviews I have ever heard. It left the presenter (Garry Richardson) and the guest journalist (can't remember who, may have been Patrick Collins) speechless. He went on about how much support OP had had both in SA and internationally and how loads of athletic promoters were contacting him desperate for OP to appear at their athletics meets. And how it was perfectly reasonable for OP to continue his athletics career. When pressed he admitted that OP was not actually training and hadn't done so since the murder.

mayorquimby Wed 03-Apr-13 10:33:59

Sorry this is based on English & Irish law
Could be completely different to the s.a.
The question I initially responded to seemed to be asking a general question rather than s.a. Specific sorry for any confusion

mayorquimby Wed 03-Apr-13 10:32:11

Well no it's subjective to the person because you have to prove that they had the requisite mens rea for the crime they're accused of.
However the caveat to this is that the more unreasonable a belief is the less likely that it is honestly held.

Whether a belief is honestly held is a question of fact for the jury, so if someone were to claim that they believed a toddler with a banana to be a deadly threat then it would be for a jury to decide as a matter of fact whether or not this was true.

So as you say nobody would accept that a rational person believed a baby with a banana to be a threat to their life unless some ridiculously unlikely and convoluted scenario presented itself.

However it is quite possible for less ridiculous but still highly unlikely scenarios to occur where it should be open to someone to argue that they were acting in self defence based on circumstances which lead them to believe that they or another person where in danger even though they are mistaken to the actual facts of the matter.

That doesn't mean that they should succeed or that Oscar p is innocent, just that the defence should be available to them.
And it's not simply a case of saying "I believed X and you can't prove I didn't" " because ultimately it is a matter of fact for the jury to decide so it is not just accepted on the basis of "well we have no way of knowing what they were actually thinking", it is up to the jury to assess the evidence and decide if, given all the circumstances presented, the defendant honestly believed that there was a threat and if they acted proportionately to the threat they perceived rather than the objective threat we now know existed (I.e. none)

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 10:15:37

mayorquimby surely its a REASONABLE belief test, rather than honestly held belief test (or is that the way in SA)?

No 'reasonable person' would agree that a toddler with a banana would pose a deadly threat to anyone. So even if you argue that YOU believed that (and how could you ever show if you did or didn't), you would fail on the 'reasonable person' test.

DaemonPantalaemon Wed 03-Apr-13 08:09:41

What a lot of tosh on this thread. All of the people saying "you do not know what happened" have clearly not read OP's affidavit.

By his own admission he fired at a closed door.

By his own admission he did not call out to see if his girlfriend was safe. He did not check the bed to see where she was.

All this is in his own statement, told from his point of view. So we actually do know what happened. And if it did indeed happen as he says it did, it is truly bad.

Innocence is a concept in law, you can be legally innocent of murdering someone if you did not have intent to kill. It does not mean you did not kill that person. Killing includes murder, manslaughter etc. Drunk drivers, for instance, can kill people without intention. The dead will still be dead, still be killed, even if there was no intention. There is no question at all that he shot Reeva, that he killed her, so please stop saying he is innocent of killing her. He may be innocent of murder, and that is a legal question for the trial to determine, but he is definitely not innocent of killing her.

Booyhoo Wed 03-Apr-13 01:56:46

i would suspect that this was encouraged or probably suggested by his lawyers. to appeal everything like this makes it look like he definitely thinks he is innocent. arrogance can often be labelled 'confidence' and that is probably what they are hoping for. and innocent person will appeal all the restrictions because they feel them unjust based on the fact they are innocent whereas if he had just accepted them it might look a bit like he was accepting he deserved them.

just my opinion.

mayorquimby Wed 03-Apr-13 01:32:53

"So, if I see a toddler with a banana who I genuinely believe will kill me, and I kill them, do I get off?"

If its an honestly held belief then yes

Fudgemallowdelight Wed 03-Apr-13 01:23:19

He must provide authorities with his travel plans at least a week before he leaves the country

So can they refuse for him to leave the country if it is to a country with no extradition treaty with SA?

Are SA murder suspects normally granted permission to leave the country for work then?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 28-Mar-13 14:34:05

Agree it seems very distasteful. You would think he would settle for lying low and mourning.

LittleTurtle Thu 28-Mar-13 14:31:22

Obviously the lawyers want him to go out and earn lots of money to pay them.

A few weeks ago, OP was on suicide watch, but he seems to have recovered so well as to want to go and compete then.

Boomtastic Thu 28-Mar-13 14:27:50

He isn't free to go gallivanting round the world.

According to his bail conditions, no he isn't, but once outside SA and in possession of a passport, it makes it a lot easier for him to jump bail, should he choose to try. The judge is taking a risk in my opinion.

BeCool Thu 28-Mar-13 14:22:25

and let's all remember there was NO INTRUDER, and no threat to Oscar at all - there was no need to defend himself whatsoever.

There was clearly a very real and deadly threat to his guest.

BeCool Thu 28-Mar-13 14:19:59

Bridget it's hardly a kneejerk response.

Sure he's not been found 'guilty' (yet), but there is no doubt he brutally killed his girlfriend (a guest in his home) - if not by premeditated murder, then by his utter and absolute stupidity. Frankly I don't know which is worse!!

Gardentreehouse Thu 28-Mar-13 14:14:46

Unless you are his family/lawyer, you do not know what happened.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 28-Mar-13 14:13:19

Lovely, so he can have a nice glass of champers too. angry

currentbuns Thu 28-Mar-13 14:12:36

Apparently he was granted all of the changes to the bail conditions he requested, including the ban on alcohol.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 28-Mar-13 14:08:50

Self defence is a complete defence so shooting someone in self defence is not a crime as such. Even if it is laughable? So, if I see a toddler with a banana who I genuinely believe will kill me, and I kill them, do I get off? Because no one was actually threatening Oscar. No one. Even believing him, there was a noise in his bathroom. Not a masked intruder...

Wasn't he also asking to be able to drink alcohol? What was the outcome there?

SoupDreggon Thu 28-Mar-13 14:01:39

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

Presumably this is why the conditions are: 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.

He isn't free to go gallivanting round the world.

SoupDreggon Thu 28-Mar-13 14:00:17

he might eventually need to return to track competition to earn money.

Note it says eventually need to return to competition. Not immediately.

Self defence is a complete defence so shooting someone in self defence is not a crime as such.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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