Pistorius' bail conditions modified

March 28, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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PRETORIA, South Africa, March 28 (UPI) -- A South African judge ruled Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius, accused in his girlfriend's death, can have his passport and compete abroad with conditions.

During a hearing Thursday on easing restrictions of Pistorius' bail, Judge Bert Bam said Pistorius can have his passport returned to him but he must provide officials his itinerary several weeks before he plans to travel, The Mirror reported on its blog of the hearing.

Bam said Magistrate Desmond Nair, who oversaw Pistorius' bail hearing, erred in not granting Pistorius use of his passport. In his bail application, Pistorius said he needed his passport to compete overseas but was willing to surrender it.

In Thursday's hearing, Pistorius' attorney said Nair set bail conditions that weren't agreed to by the defense, effectively placing Pistorius under house arrest.

Bam also said it was unfair that Pistorius was, in effect, placed under correctional supervision and that nothing indicated the sprinter was unstable.

He added that it was "highly irregular" that some of the bail conditions.

Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, Feb. 14 by shooting her through a closed bathroom door. He said he thought she was a burglar.

When bail was set in February, Pistorius, among other things, was required to surrender all firearms, not communicate with prosecution witnesses, visit a probation officer, get permission for any journeys outside Pretoria, not leave the country or apply for travel documents and not return to his home.

Prosecutors said indictments would be served against Pistorius in June and planned to go to trial by the end of the year.

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