Thursday, 28 March 2013

Oscar Pistorius free to travel abroad to compete in races

Murder suspect Oscar Pistorius has been allowed to travel abroad to compete in races as he awaits trial for killing his girlfriend.  

Lawyers for the Blade Runner asked a High Court judge to change his bail conditions to allow him to leave South Africa for competitions.

It comes after Pistorius, 26, was last month charged with the premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, shot dead at his gated mansion in Pretoria.

Pistorius, who was not in court for today’s hearing, is likely to stand trial before the end of the year, the High Court in Pretoria heard today. is next court appearance is on June 4.

The double amputee and six-time Paralympic sprint champion claims he shot 30-year-old Ms Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.

He was released on bail by magistrate Desmond Nair last month on a number of conditions, including having to surrender his passport and to report to police twice a week.

His lawyer Barry Roux today asked for several conditions to be relaxed, saying Pistorius – who has been staying with relatives – was effectively under “house arrest”.

Judge Bert Bam granted the appeal, saying there was no reason Pistorius should not be allowed to leave the country if he was invited to compete abroad.

But the star must provide a copy of his itinerary to officials before he plans to travel, the judge ruled.

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