South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius, charged with the murder of his girlfriend, appealed his bail conditions because he wants to travel to allow him to earn an income, his lawyer Barry Roux said.
“Why would he go to a new country to hide?” Roux said in the Pretoria High Court today. “We did not agree to conditions of bail, that is when we decided to use our rights to appeal.”
Pistorius, 26, was released on 1 million rand ($108,033) bail on Feb. 22 after a four-day hearing. Prosecutors accuse him of deliberately shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, at his Pretoria home. The athlete says that he accidentally shot her thinking there was a burglar in his house. The judge will announce his decision at 12:30 p.m. local time.
The athlete, known as Blade Runner because of his prosthetic running blades, was the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games, running at the London event last year. He was included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most-influential people. Pistorius, who won six Paralympic gold medals, was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old.
Pistorius has no immediate travel plans but wants the option to do so, according to Roux.
The appeal hearing should be argued in the magistrate’s court where the bail conditions were set, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said today. Pistorius has already handed over his passport, Roux also asked that the restriction on drinking alcohol be lifted.
“How can he appeal what he agreed on,” Nel said. “I fail to understand why someone who agreed to conditions, now, two weeks later, wants to appeal.”