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Pistorius Granted Bail While Awaiting New Sentence

  • VOA News

Oscar Pistorius pauses in the dock at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015.

Oscar Pistorius pauses in the dock at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015.

A South African judge has granted bail to Oscar Pistorius, after an appeals court last week convicted him of murder.

The Olympic athlete appeared in court Tuesday to hear whether he could remain under house arrest while awaiting a new sentencing for the murder conviction, which is tied to the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said Pistorius could be released on bail of $690 but would remain under house arrest. The judge said Pistorius would be electronically monitored and would be allowed to leave the house with permission.

Judge Ledwaba set Pistorius' sentencing hearing for April 18.

His attorney, Barry Roux, said Pistorius wants to take his case to South Africa's Constitutional Court for review.

The appeals court overturned a culpable homicide (manslaughter) ruling against Pistorius last Thursday. Judge Eric Leach said regardless of whether Pistorius thought he was shooting at an unknown intruder or knew it was his girlfriend, he should have known his actions would cause death.

"The identity of his victim is irrelevant to his guilt," he said.

The murder charge carries a minimum 15 years in prison. The case now goes back to the original court for a new sentence.

He was released from prison in October, after serving less than one year of his five-year term behind bars. Under South African law, people sentenced to five years or less are eligible to leave prison after serving one-sixth of their terms.

He was to serve the rest of his culpable homicide sentence under house arrest in Pretoria, at a mansion owned by his uncle.

Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetics, is a six-time Paralympics gold medalist. Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics at the 2012 summer games in London.

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