Oscar Pistorius granted permission to travel abroad

Oscar Pistorius's lawyers Barry Roux (L) and Brian Webber prepare documents before the start of the application to appeal some of his bail conditions at a Pretoria court in Pretoria March 28, 2013. Credit: Reuters
Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers prepare documents before the start of the application to appeal some of his bail conditions at a Pretoria court in Pretoria on Thursday.
Credit: Reuters

Oscar Pistorius, charged with murdering his girlfriend, was granted permission to travel abroad by a South African judge Thursday.

“The applicant is entitled to use his passport to travel outside the Republic of South Africa,” Judge Bert Bam said.

The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic track star, a double amputee since infancy, also no longer needs to report to a probation officer.

Thursday’s decision eased bail conditions that were initially very strict for Pistorius, who is charged with the Valentine’s Day murder of Reeva Steenkamp, 29.

His case has stunned a nation that holds him up as hero who triumphed over adversity to compete with able-bodied athletes at the highest levels of sport.

Prosecutors said Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he fired four shots into a locked toilet door, hitting Steenkamp as she cowered on the other side. She suffered gunshot wounds to her head, hip and arm.

Pistorius has said the killing was a tragic mistake and that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder and opened fire in a blind panic.

The world’s best known Paralympic athlete, Pistorius ran against able-bodied competitors in the London Olympics last year, raising his global profile after a battle to be allowed to compete.


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