Oscar Pistorius, the paralympian athlete accused of killing his model girlfriend, will have his passport returned so that he can resume his track career, South Africa’s High Court Judge Bert Bam said.
His “passport can be given to his attorneys and he should be entitled to travel,” Bam said today at the High Court in Pretoria, the capital. “He needs his passport to compete.”
Pistorius, 26, was released on 1 million rand ($108,033) bail on Feb. 22 after a four-day hearing for a premeditated murder charge. 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.
“We are not going to comment on the hearing itself,” Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told reporters after the decision. “We are ready for the trial and we will not be swayed by the outcome of today’s hearing.”
Pistorius, 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 his lawyer Barry Roux. He is next due to appear in court in June.
The trial and original bail conditions curbed his ability to compete at track meets globally and led some of his sponsors to drop him or distance themselves from him.
Nike Inc., the world’s largest sporting-goods company, Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley and Clarins SA’s Thierry Mugler perfume brand have all ended sponsorship deals with Pistorius since the shooting.