15 February 2013

South Africa: Pistorius Case Postponed

Legal expert William Booth unpacks the charges levelled againt double amputee, Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius is due to appear in court tomorrow to apply ... ( Resource: Legal Expert Explains Severity of Pistorius' case

Pretoria — Oscar Pistorius' murder case was postponed to February 19 in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court, after a highly charged first appearance on Friday.

He will stay in police custody at the Brooklyn police station until his appearance on Tuesday.

With jaws clenched, Pistorius heard the State intended pursuing a case of pre-meditated murder against him, following the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home on Valentine's Day.

"Is the State's argument pre-meditated murder?" asked magistrate Desmond Nair.

"Yes," said prosecutor advocate Gerrie Nel.

The postponement was granted to allow the defence time for further preparation, and to properly categorise the charge against him in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

The celebrity paralympian walked into the packed courtroom wearing a dark suit, and began crying when Nair greeted him. Nair asked him to be calm and he sat down.

He is expected to bring a bail application next week.

There is also expected to be clarity on whether the crime he is charged with falls under Sections five or six of the CPA.

In terms of Section five, dealing with "serious" offences, the accused may only be granted bail if he produces evidence to satisfy the court that the interests of justice permit the release.

Section six deals with "extremely serious" crime and requires exceptional circumstances for bail to be granted.

As Pistorius walked out of the dock, his father Henke reached out to him.

Pistorius was just walked on, teary-eyed.

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