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Entries in Bail (8)

Friday
Feb222013

Oscar Pistorius to Be Released on Bail

Herman Verwey/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day, will be released on bail, a South African magistrate ruled on Friday.

In reading his lengthy decision, Magistrate Desmond Nair said, "The issue before me is whether the accused, being who is and the assets he has [here], would seek to duck and dive all over the world."

He concluded, "I cannot find that he is a flight risk."

The court set bail at about $113,000 ($1 million rand) and June 4 as the date for Pistorius' next court appearance.

The other bail conditions are: Pistorius cannot leave the country; he must hand over his passports; he cannot return to his home as long as it's an active crime scene; he needs permission to leave the Pretoria area; he must visit a police station on a daily basis and be available to a probation officer at all times via cellphone; he is not allowed any communication with prosecution witnesses; he cannot drink alcohol; and he must relinquish his firearms.

"Do you understand?" Nair asked the 26-year-old athlete.

"Yes, sir," Pistorius replied.

Speaking for the family, Pistorius' uncle, Arnold, said: "Although we are obviously relieved that Oscar has been granted bail, this is still a very sad time for the family of Reeva and for us.  We are grateful that the Magistrate recognized the validity and strength of our application.  As the family, we are convinced that Oscar's version of what happened on that terrible night will prove to be true."

The fourth and final day of Pistorius' bail hearing opened with arguments from the prosecution that the runner's version of events is improbable and the defense countering that Pistorius had no intent to kill Steenkamp.

Pistorius, who gained global acclaim for racing at the 2012 London Olympics, shot his model girlfriend through a closed bathroom.  He says he killed Steenkamp accidentally, but prosecutors allege that he took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, indicating that he thought out and planned to kill Steenkamp when he shot her three times through a bathroom door.

Pistorius sobbed Friday in court.  Barry Roux, his defense attorney, said the prosecution has misinterpreted the assigning of intent -- meaning that the runner's intent to shoot at a supposed intruder in his home cannot be transferred to someone else who was shot -- in this case, Steenkamp.

"He did not want to kill Reeva," Roux told the court.

When Nair, who has been overhearing the bail hearing, asked Roux what the charges should be if Pistorius intended to kill an intruder, the defense attorney responded that he should be charged with culpable homicide.  Culpable homicide is defined in South Africa as "the unlawful negligent killing of a human being."

Roux also made light of the prosecution's argument that Pistorius is a flight risk, saying that every time the double-amputee goes through airport security, it causes a commotion.  He said that Pistorius' legs need constant maintenance and he needs medical attention for his stumps.

The prosecution argued on Friday that the onus is on Pistorius to provide his version of events, and his version is improbable.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel also spoke of Pistorius' fame and his disability, even relating him to Wikipedia founder Julian Assange, who is now confined to Ecuador's London Embassy, where he has been granted political asylum.

"[Assange's] facial features are as well known as Mr. Pistorius' prostheses," Nel said.

Nel argued that Pistorius' prostheses do not set him apart, stating that it's no different to any other feature, and the court cannot be seen to treat people with disabilities accused of a crime, or famous people accused of a crime, any differently.

Pistorius has said that in the early hours of Feb. 14, he was closing his balcony doors when he heard a noise from the bathroom.  Fearing an intruder, and without his prosthetic legs on, he grabbed a gun from under his bed and fired through the closed bathroom door, he told the court.

But prosecutors say that's implausible, that the gun's holster was found under the side of the bed where Steenkamp slept, and that Pistorius would have seen she wasn't there.  Prosecutors also say the angle at which the shots were fired shows Pistorius was already wearing his prosthetics when he fired.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep182011

Vacationing Second Judge Delays Bail Agreement in Hiker Case

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN) -- The second judge meant to sign documents releasing American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal is reportedly on vacation.

The lawyer for the two jailed hikers has been back in court and going through the motions, awaiting a second signature on a bail-for-release agreement.

The paperwork on the million-dollar deal is grinding away very slowly. While one judge has signed the documents, the second has gone on vacation until Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep142011

Iran's Judiciary Still Reviewing Bail Deal for American Hikers

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran's judiciary is still reviewing the bail deal for detained American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, ABC News has confirmed.

On Tuesday, ABC News learned that bail had been set for the two men at $500,000 each.  Their lawyer, Masoud Shafii, told ABC News that as soon as his clients could get the money together, they would be released from jail.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was hoping for the hikers' release before his trip to the U.N. next week, also expressed in an interview aired on Tuesday that the hikers would be released in a couple of days.

But that may not be possible.  Thursday and Friday are not working days for judges in Iran, so the necessary paperwork may not be completed before Saturday.

Bauer and Fattal have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009 for espionage.  After crossing an unmarked border while hiking in northern Iraq, Iranian authorities claimed the two had illegally crossed over into their territory and charged them with spying for the U.S.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May202011

Strauss-Kahn Set to Leave Prison, Collect Hefty Severance Payout

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- As Dominique Strauss-Kahn prepares for release from jail on highly conditional bail after being indicted by a grand jury on rape charges, the former IMF chief will reportedly get an exit package including an annual pension of more than $318,000.

After appearing in court Thursday, a judge granted him a $1 million bail, an additional $5 million insurance bond and house arrest in New York City, as well as 24-hour monitoring.

Strauss-Kahn's time under house arrest will be at Bristol Plaza on Manhattan's Upper East Side.  The luxurious building specializes in corporate rentals of as much as $14,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

In court Thursday, Strauss-Kahn blew kisses to his family in a rare light moment after a few very heavy days for the renowned economist.  The judge accepted the argument that he had no reason to flee the United States, and his offer to stay confined in the New York apartment rented by his wife while wearing an electronic monitoring device.

A grand jury heard testimony Wednesday from his accuser, a 32-year-old chamber maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, and gave the go-ahead for Strauss-Kahn to be tried for allegedly forcing the woman to submit to oral sex; he is also accused of attempted rape.  The grand jury sent down seven counts, which carry up to 25 years in prison.

Strauss-Kahn denied any wrong doing for the first time in his letter resigning as head of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, writing: "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

With his resignation, the alleged rapist said he wanted, "…to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion."  It's likely he also insured hefty severance and pension payouts, assuming the IMF is standing by the contract.

According to his 2007 contract, the managing director of the IMF got a base salary and allowance totaling $496,280 when it went into effect in 2007.  With the prescribed cost of living increases in both the salary and allowance, he was making nearly $530,000 a year in annual compensation as of last July, according to ABC News' calculations.

It is common practice for executives of big organizations to get so-called "golden parachutes" when they retire or are terminated, and Strauss-Kahn's deal with the IMF is no different.  The deal gives him a "separation allowance" of 60-65 percent of his take-home pay.  That means with Wednesday's resignation letter, he is likely due $318,000 to $349,000 immediately.

The terms of the agreement do not seem to allow for the payment to be withheld for any reason, including being charged with or convicted of felony sexual assault.

The employment contract also sets up Strauss-Kahn with a lifetime of pension payments.  He was required to participate in the fund's basic staff retirement plan -- a traditional pension, which according to the IMF's website can start paying out at age 50 and with only three years of service.  Details on how much Strauss-Kahn gets under the basic plan are not publicly available.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Lawyers to Seek Bail Again

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, will return to court with his lawyers Thursday morning in a second attempt to win bail on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.

Strauss-Kahn, until the arrest a likely candidate for the presidency of France, officially resigned from the position he held since 2007 via a letter on Wednesday, an IMF press release stated.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday on various charges including committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment, stemming from an alleged incident in a Manhattan suite where he is accused of the attempted rape a hotel maid.

His defense lawyers' offer of a $1 million bail package was rejected by the court at an initial hearing on Monday on grounds that Strauss-Kahn is a flight risk.  Since then he has been held in an 11 by 13-foot cell at the West Facility on New York's Riker's Island, where he remains on suicide watch.

It is unclear if Strauss-Kahn will be present for Thursday's court proceedings.

Thursday is Strauss-Kahn's scheduled visiting day at Riker's Island. Media reports from France indicate that his family is expected to visit him; if so, as many as three of them may visit for up to one hour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May182011

IMF Case: Strauss-Kahn to Ask for Bail; Alleged Victim Testifies to Grand Jury

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Moments after the hotel chambermaid who has accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault finished testifying before a grand jury Wednesday in New York, lawyers for the French politician said they would seek to have him freed on bail Thursday.

Strauss-Kahn's attorneys are busy constructing a new bail package to present to a judge as early as Thursday morning in the hopes of springing their client from pretrial detention.

Strauss-Kahn is currently in protective isolation and on suicide watch in an 11 foot-by-13-foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail, where he has been since Monday when a court determined he was a flight risk and denied him bail.

His lawyers initially proposed a $1 million bail package that was rejected by the court.

It has not been announced whether Strauss-Kahn will be in court for Friday's hearing. According to reports in the French media, he is expecting his family to visit him in jail Thursday.

His accuser, a 32-year-old maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, testified in court Wednesday that "there was nothing consensual" about the assault that allegedly took place Saturday, her lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said.

Meanwhile, investigators say they are conducting DNA tests on bodily fluids and other materials found in the $3,000-a-night suite.

Prosecutors presented her testimony and other evidence today to the grand jury in an effort to swat down what will likely be Strauss-Kahn's defense; that he and the maid, a native of the West African country Guinea, had consensual sex in his hotel room.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the judge at a bail hearing Monday that "the evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter," shedding light on the narrative Strauss-Kahn's lawyer might use to explain the encounter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec162010

WikiLeaks Founder Assange Granted Bail; Money 'Secured'

Photo Courtesy - Bertil Ericson/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange emerged from a London prison with his hands raised Thursday, into the bright lights of camera flashes after he posted $315,000 bail stemming from sexual assault charges.

In his first appearance since his arrest early this week, Assange thanked his supporters for helping to raise the bail. He said his lawyers waged a "brave and ultimately successful fight...in the face of great difficulty and diversion" to free him.

"It's great to smell the fresh air of London again," he said. Assange thanked the British court system, saying, "If justice is not always the outcome, at least it is not dead yet."

"I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter," Assange said.

The judge denied an appeal against granting bail earlier Thursday, saying he did not believe Assange would run if granted bail because that would make all his supporters look "naive, foolish and stupid."

Assange's mother was at the London courtroom, along with Vaughn Smith, the man who offered Assange a place to stay in his 10-bedroom estate in England should he be freed.

Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who is at the center of controversy over posting more than a quarter of a million secret U.S. documents online, had been held in a London prison on sexual assault charges, including rape, originating out of Sweden.  On Tuesday, a judge granted him $315,000 bond, but Swedish prosecutors appealed the decision.

Several supporters have offered to assist in paying Assange's bail, including documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who pledged $20,000.

If he is able to post the bond, Assange must surrender his passport and remain in the United Kingdom where he plans to stay with a friend, the London judge ruled Tuesday.  He will have an electronic tag to verify that he is at that address overnight and must report daily to police.

Assange has been held in solitary confinement -- for his own protection, the jail said.  His lawyers said he is being held in a wing normally reserved for convicted criminals, cut off from other prisoners and is only allowed outside the cell for a half hour each day. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec142010

WikiLeaks Founder Assange to Be Freed on $315K Bail

Photo Courtesy - LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Embattled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is expected to be freed from a London jail Tuesday on $315,000 bail, but he won't be allowed to leave the country.

Assange was being held in solitary confinement -- for his own protection, the jail said -- on sexual assault charges, including rape originating out of Sweden since his arrest last week. Assange, the man who published a massive trove of classified U.S. diplomatic cables through his website, could also be the target of coming espionage charges from the U.S., one of his lawyers told ABC News last week.

If he is able to post the bond, Assange must surrender his passport and stay in the United Kingdom where he plans to stay with a friend, the London judge ruled Tuesday. He will have an electronic tag to verify that he is at that address overnight and must daily report to police.

The timing of the arrest earlier this week led a Wikileaks spokesperson, Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens and hundreds of Assange's supporters to claim the sex charges were part of a political effort to marginalize the Wikileaks founder in the face of the document drop, which has proved an embarrassment and potential security risk for the U.S. government.

But a lawyer for the two Swedish women accusing Assange said the charges are in no way politically motivated and the woman are angry at that suggestion.

Assange has denied the sex crimes charges and after his arrest, Stephens told ABC News Assange is ready "to vindicate himself and clear his good name."

Prosecutors may still appeal the bond ruling.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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