South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has appeared in court for the first time since he was freed on bail over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp earlier this year.
After a brief hearing in Pretoria, the magistrate agreed to a request from both prosecution and defense to postpone the hearing until August 19.
Oscar Pistorius, 26, shot Reeva Steenkamp, 29, through the bathroom door of his house in Pretoria on February 14, 2013.
The Paralympic champion denies committing murder, saying he mistook her for an intruder.
Oscar Pistorius wore a grey suit and appeared composed as he arrived at court to meet a barrage of photographers and journalists. He was surrounded by his family and friends for the hearing.
He spoke only once, confirming: “Yes, Your Honour” when asked if he understood the magistrate’s comments.
Both the prosecution and the defense teams asked that the hearing be postponed until August 19 to give them more time to prepare their case.
Oscar Pistorius hearing over Reeva Steenkamp murder postponed until August
Magistrate Daniel Thulare agreed to the postponement and extended Oscar Pistorius’s bail conditions until that date.
On Monday, Oscar Pistorius’ family said they were “shaken” by leaked, graphic photos published by Sky News, which showed the bathroom where Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
Police said they were “disgusted” by the leak.
Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed in the Olympics.
His arrest in February stunned many South Africans who saw him as a national sporting hero after his long legal battle to be able to compete in the Olympics.
The prosecution has accused Oscar Pistorius of premeditated murder, alleging that he killed Reeva Steenkamp intentionally after a fight.
Oscar Pistorius was freed on a bail of 1 million rand ($110,000). A court in March eased his travel restrictions, allowing him to leave South Africa to compete as long as he complied with certain conditions.
Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges over the shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has spent his first night out of custody after being granted bail.
At a pre-trial hearing on Friday, a Pretoria magistrate ruled the state had not made a case that the South African Paralympic champion would flee, or that he had a violent character.
Oscar Pistorius, 26, denies murder, saying he shot Reeva Steenkamp, 29, thinking she was an intruder at his home.
The next hearing is set for June 4.
Oscar Pistorius spent eight nights in a police cell in Pretoria, following his arrest on February 14. After Friday’s ruling granting him bail, he left the court in a silver car pursued by photographers.
The sprinter is staying at his uncle’s house in Pretoria.
Reports say Oscar Pistorius may start training again and hold talks with his coach.
Magistrate Desmond Nair set bail at 1 million rand ($113,000).
Oscar Pistorius was also ordered to hand over his passport, avoid his home in Pretoria and report to a police station every Monday and Friday.
Desmond Nair took almost two hours to deliver his judgement.
The magistrate criticized the testimony of Detective Hilton Botha for not following up important leads and changing his evidence.
Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges over the shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has spent his first night out of custody after being granted bail
Desmond Nair also said Oscar Pistorius had “reached out to meet the state’s case” and had given a full version of events at an early stage.
Oscar Pistorius’ family and supporters in the court gasped and cheered as the magistrate announced his decision.
His uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said outside court: “We are relieved by the fact that Oscar got bail today, but at the same time, we are in mourning for Reeva Steenkamp and her family.”
The hearing began on Tuesday and both prosecution and defence laid out their cases.
Both sides agree that Oscar Pistorius shot through the bathroom door four times, hitting and killing Reeva Steenkamp.
But prosecutors allege the shooting happened after the couple had an argument at Oscar Pistorius’s home in the early hours of February 14.
Det. Hilton Botha told the court that witnesses had heard shouting, screaming and gunfire from about 600 m (2,000 ft) away.
But later he changed his evidence to suggest the witnesses were much closer.
And on Thursday it emerged that Det. Hilton Botha faces allegations of attempted murder, and he was removed from the case.
Oscar Pistorius says he woke in the middle of the night, and thought there was an intruder in the bathroom.
The prosecutors sought to portray Oscar Pistorius as man with a history of violence who was likely to flee the country.
But the defence argued it would be impossible for Oscar Pistorius to flee because his prosthetic legs would be noticed wherever he went.
Reeva Steenkamp was a model and law graduate with a burgeoning television career.
Oscar Pistorius won gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
In London Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics, making the semi-final of the 400 m.
Oscar Pistorius has broken down in tears at court this morning as he begged for bail on the same day Reeva Steenkamp will be buried by her family.
Oscar Pistorius, 26, was hidden under a blanket in the back of a police car as he was swept into the Pretoria courthouse where he was accused of gunning down model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day.
The Paralympic champion began to sob in the dock before he slumped forwards with his head in his hands as the prosecutor accused him of murdering an “unarmed and innocent woman”.
The court was also told that Reeva Steenkamp had arrived at his home at around 6 p.m., with an overnight bag, before being “shot three times while on the toilet” in the middle of the night.
600 miles away in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth Reeva Steenkamp’s family, friends and loved-ones will be attending her private funeral.
They have demanded to know why their “beautiful angel” was blasted to death with his 9mm gun and have begged the sprinter to “tell the truth” about the shooting when he appears in court today.
Meanwhile olice focus their investigations on Reeva Steenkamp’s iPad amid concerns she received an early-hours message that may have sparked a row.
Oscar Pistorius has broken down in tears at court this morning as he begged for bail on the same day Reeva Steenkamp will be buried by her family
Reeva Steenkamp’s tablet computer was found on the bedroom floor – and this is now being checked by investigators along with both her and Oscar Pistorius’ phone for any clues about her death.
June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother said: “All we want are answers … answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this?”
But the mystery of her final moments deepened after the tragedy was recreated in a controversial “cartoon” strip in South Africa.
The bizarre images suggest Reeva Steenkamp was shot in the hip in Oscar Pistorius’ bedroom before being attacked and seeking refuge in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet seat.
Today it also emerged that sportswear brand Nike, one of the athlete’s main sponsors, has no plans to use Oscar Pistorius in future ad campaigns.
This came as Reeva Steenkamp’s brother Adam called for the truth, telling reporters that the only person left alive who can say what happened is Oscar Pistorius.
Asked what could possibly be the motive behind his niece’s murder, Reeva’s uncle Mike Steenkamp said: “The only person who can answer that is Reeva”
But her brother Adam said: “Oscar.”
Adam Steenkamp, a 36-year-old father of two who works at the University of Cambridge, has flown back to his parent’s home in South Africa to help deal with the crisis. Though he is Reeva Steenkamp’s half brother, as they have different mothers, he said that they considered each other direct siblings.
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