Oscar Pistorius wins right to travel after successful bail appeal


South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (C) appears on February 19, 2013 at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria as he father Henke (3rd L), brother Carl (2nd L) and sister Aimee (L) attend.



Oscar Pistorius is allowed to leave South Africa while he awaits trial for murder, after winning an appeal to relax the terms of his bail.

At a court hearing in Pretoria, his lawyers successfully argued that the sprinter should have the right to travel in order to compete internationally and earn an income.

Judge Bert Bam also scrapped several other conditions of his bail, describing them as "unfair," "punitive" and "patently wrong."

Pistorius is now free to return to his home in Pretoria, where he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14.

He is no longer required to report to a police station twice a week, submit to unannounced visits by probation officers, abstain from drinking alcohol or agree to spot drug tests.

Police will hand over his passport to his lawyers, who will be responsible for giving it to Pistorius when he plans to travel abroad. He is required to inform prosecutors of his movements in advance.

"Why would this athlete go to a country without extradition and go and hide?" defense attorney Barry Roux asked.

"It is not as if the appellant is traveling for holiday in Mauritius; it's only to gain an income, there's no other reason."

Pistorius, who did not appear in court, is not in training and has no plans to race in the near future, according to his agent, Peet van Zyl. However, his trial is not expected to begin for at least two more months.

His next court appearance has been set for June 4, but prosecutors have said they are not sure they will be ready to start the trial then.

The amputee athlete claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, but the prosecution has filed charges of premeditated murder.

More from GlobalPost: Carl Pistorius, athlete's brother, pleads not guilty to homicide