Oscar 'Blade Runner' Pistorius allowed to leave South Africa

Oscar Pistorius competes in the London 2012 Olympics. (REUTERS/David Gray)

Oscar Pistorius competes in the London 2012 Olympics. (REUTERS/David Gray)

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius, charged with murdering his girlfriend, was granted permission to travel abroad by a South African judge on 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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