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Pistorius’ bail will be completed soon: NPA

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By SAPA

 Pretoria - A bail application by murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius will be completed before the end of the week, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Medupi Simasiku said on Tuesday.

 He told reporters outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court that Pistorius' application had not become a drawn-out issue.

 “It’s not long (the bail process). There are so many cases that can be longer than this. We believe that by Friday we would have wrapped up the whole bail application,” said Simasiku.

 He said Pistorius would be held overnight at the Brooklyn police station, where he spent the weekend. The athlete’s bail application will resume on Wednesday.

 Simasiku denied Pistorius was getting preferential treatment from the authorities, particularly at the police station.

 “Like any other person, it is fair for him to get that opportunity to meet with his legal team to prepare for his bail process. The decision to keep him at the police station was taken to enable him to meet his legal team,” he said.

 “That decision was not taken because he is favoured, or (because) he is a celebrity.”

 He declined to comment on Pistorius’ affidavits, which were presented to the court on Tuesday.

 “We cannot say much, lest we prejudice the whole process. We have to respond in court, as the State,” said Simasiku.

 In an affidavit read out to the court on Tuesday, Pistorius denied murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the morning of St Valentine's Day.

 “I deny the allegation in the strongest terms. Nothing can be further from the truth,” he said in the affidavit, which was read by his advocate Barry Roux.

 Pistorius had been tearful the whole morning, but when the affidavit, marked “Exhibit A”, was produced during his bail application, he began sobbing to the extent that his body shook.

 His brother Carl held his back and placed his hand over his head, passing him an energy drink as Roux read that Steenkamp had given Pistorius a St Valentine's Day present and that he “couldn't have been happier”.

 The bail hearing was postponed to Wednesday.

 “You will remain in custody until the court reconvenes at 9am tomorrow,” said magistrate Desmond Nair.

 After the court proceedings, a pack of journalists chased Carl when he left the court building. He would not answer any questions, but strode down Bosman street, next to the court. - Sapa

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