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State to oppose Pistorius new bail bid

The state will oppose murder accused Oscar Pistorius’s bail application.

Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the Feather Awards, held on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The state is expected to tell a Pretoria judge on Thursday that murder accused Oscar Pistorius is abusing the legal process, by appealing the bail conditions that he agreed to.

The claim is contained in the state's heads of argument opposing the athlete's appeal against some conditions, which is scheduled to be heard in the North Gauteng High Court.

Police arrested the Blade Runner at his Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The state claims Pistorius planned to kill Steenkamp, while the athlete maintains he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has asked how is it that Pistorius, with full knowledge of the court's findings, agreed to bail conditions and then weeks later claims they are wrong.

Pistorius has appealed the conditions on the basis that the court found he was not a flight risk, but imposed conditions as if he were.

In his heads of arguments Nel says it is an abuse of process for an appellant to agree to conditions only to appeal them within a week or two.

Using case law, the prosecution team will argue that Pistorius should have approached the Magistrate's court that initially imposed the restrictions.

'PISTORIUS MUST CONSIDER SERIOUSNESS OF CRIME'

The state is expected to tell a Pretoria judge that Pistorius is more concerned with carrying on with his life, than dealing with the serious charge he is facing.

The prosecution team says the "Blade Runner" has not acknowledged the possibility that he may have to spend a lengthy period in prison.

The state says the court was correct in imposing conditions to mitigate the flight risk that Pistorius might pose, when he finally realises the seriousness of the situation.

Nel also says the conditions are reasonable, warranted and in a matter like this, expected.

The National Prosecuting Authority is set to oppose all of Pistorius's attempts to have his bail conditions changed, on the basis that he had initially agreed to similar restrictions.

Eyewitness News has obtained copies of the state's head of argument which were filed at the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

If the application is allowed to go ahead, the prosecution will show that the defence team agreed to several conditions, including travel restrictions.

The application is to be heard by Judge Bert Bam on Thursday.

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