Pistorius has travel ban lifted

2013-03-28 14:19

Oscar Pistorius will be allowed to travel abroad while his murder case is pending.

This was Judge Bert Bam’s ruling in the North Gauteng High Court earlier today after deliberating for over an hour on Pistorius’ bail conditions.

The conditions set aside by the court include that he surrenders his passport to the magistrates’ office and that he refrains from applying for a passport or travel documents until the case against him has been concluded.

Pistorius is accused of shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentines’ Day.

Bam said Magistrate Desmond Nair had found that Pistorius was not a flight risk. As a result, he could not find reasons for Pistorius to be denied travelling outside the country.

Pistorius would have to hand over his passport to his attorney, report a week in advance before leaving and return his passport within 24 hours.

Other conditions set aside were for Pistorius to be visited unannounced by his probation officer. Bam found that this condition was against Pistorius’ constitutional right to privacy.

One of the conditions that had concerned Pistorius’ lawyer, Advocate Barry Roux, was that Pistorius should not be charged with an offence against women while he was out on bail.

“People may accuse him recklessly,” he argued.

Bam agreed this condition was unfair and that the Constitution stated that a person was innocent until proven guilty.

Pistorius was also to refrain from consuming alcohol and drugs but Bam decided that these and other restrictions “served no use and the magistrate was misdirected”.

Bam made it clear that this application was unrelated to Pistorius’ innocence or guilt and that he would not debate that Steenkamp’s death was the “worst form of violence against women”.

The National Prosecuting Authority would not comment immediately on Bam’s ruling, but stated that it was only focusing on the case now.

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