Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius have successfully lobbied an appeals judge to relax the sprinter's bail conditions so that he can travel abroad while awaiting his murder trial. At his original bail hearing back in February, Pistorius—who shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day—had been ordered to surrender his passport and check in at a local police station every week, essentially restricting his ability to travel anywhere outside his own home. However, on Thursday a judge lifted those travel restrictions and will give Pistorius access to his passport so that he can once again travel internationally.
Despite the seriousness of his crime and considerable wealth that could allow him to flee to almost anywhere, Pistorius can make a legitimate argument that he needs to be able to travel abroad. As a world-class sprinter, his "job" requires him to attend track and field events all over the world (and make public appearances for sponsors) so confining him to South Africa makes it almost impossible for him to earn money. Judge Bert Bam ruled today that Pistorius must provide authorities with his detailed travel itineraries and he the court will hold onto his passport when he's not traveling, kl but he can leave the country if invited to compete abroad.
Pistorius was released on $112,000 bail last month and did not appear at today's appeal hearing. His trial on first-degree murder charges is expected to start later this summer.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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