Pistorius 'may run at World Champs' after winning bail appeal

Pistorius 'may run at World Champs' after winning bail appeal
By Eurosport

29/03/2013 at 01:16Updated 29/03/2013 at 03:31

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is free to compete overseas despite awaiting trial for murder, and he could even run at the World Championships later this year.

Pistorius successfully challenged some of the bail conditions imposed upon him as he awaits trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

After the ruling Pistorius's agent said his client could run at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow this August.

"If he is up for it and qualifies, the World Championships will definitely be on the radar," agent Peet van Zyl told the Associated Press.

"I will sit down with him and discuss it with him, but he will be the one to decide and let us know if wants to race."

The 26-year-old's legal team appeared in Pretoria's High Court on Thursday where they argued that the bail conditions imposed by magistrate Desmond Nair were unnecessarily restrictive.

And the judge agreed, saying that he saw "no reason why the appellant should be forbidden to leave the country if invited to compete."

The ruling means that Pistorius is now allowed to travel freely anywhere in the world, can drink alcohol, refuse drug tests, and return to his house.

The athlete will be allowed to leave South Africa so long as he provides the National Prosecuting Authority with an itinerary a week in advance.

His passport will still be held by his lawyer, but the man who became famous 'Blade Runner' is now free to resume his career.

Judge Bert Bam said that Nair had acted irregularly in imposing bail extraordinary conditions without listening to arguments from counsel, and that the conditions showed, "total disregard for the appellant's right to privacy."

"The law must be applied equally," the judge added, "and [the principle] must be guarded that bail ins not applied as an anticipatory punishment."

The athlete will stand trial in June for murdering Steenkamp on the early hours of Valentine's Day. He admits shooting and killing his girlfriend, but denies murder on the grounds that he believed her to be an intruder.

The athlete, whose passport had been confiscated as one of his bail conditions, argued that he should be allowed to travel if granted written permission by the case investigation officer.

His lawyers claimed that several more of the original 13 conditions were "unwarranted", including a ban on him drinking alcohol and the demand for him to report to a police station twice a week.

Prosecutors challenged any relaxing of the bail conditions, despite the fact that the conditions imposed by Nair were far more restrictive than those that the prosecution had agreed in advance with the defence in anticipation of bail being granted.