PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Oscar Pistorius was granted bail Friday, paving the way for him to be freed from custody pending his trial in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair made the ruling today after four days of arguments from prosecution and defense in Pistorius' bail hearing, and after spending about one hour and 45 minutes announcing his decision.
Nair said Pistorius' affidavit, in which he gave his version of the events of the shooting on morning of Feb. 14 in a sworn statement, had helped his application for bail in Pretoria Magistrate's Court.
Pistorius' supporters shouted "Yes" when the magistrate made his ruling. Nair then ordered a court break before establishing the terms of the bail.
Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp in the predawn hours of Feb. 14. The athlete says he shot his girlfriend accidentally believing she was an intruder in his house. Prosecutors say he intended to kill Steenkamp and charged him with premeditated murder, saying the shooting followed a loud argument between the two.
The prosecution vehemently opposed bail in a case that has transfixed South Africans and brought international media attention to the nation's justice system and police capabilities.
Pistorius' hands trembled as he said "good morning, your worship" as the session began in Magistrate's Court in Pretoria, South Africa's capital. For the first time in the hearing, two representatives of the Steenkamp family were present in court, sitting behind and to the left of Pistorius in the public gallery.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel called Pistorius' version that he shot Steenkamp accidentally improbable and argued that Pistorius did not have to have planned the killing for days in advance for it to be premediated.