Pistorius successfully appeals bail conditions

Athlete Oscar Pistorius on Thursday succeeded in having his bail conditions relaxed.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock as he waits to hear the outcome of his bail application. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

PRETORIA - Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on Thursday succeeded in having his bail conditions relaxed.

Judge Bert Bam handed down his ruling in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Pistorius was arrested on Valentine's Day after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home.

He was released on bail of R1 million.

Part of his bail conditions was limited travel, a ban from his Pretoria home and random drugs and alcohol checks from police.

His advocate Barry Roux said Pistorius had no immediate plans to travel or compete.

The court ordered that the Blade Runner's passport be handed to his attorney and that he be allowed to travel.

Bam found no reason why the murder accused should not be allowed to travel overseas if he is invited to take part in a competition.

The judge said Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair was misdirected and wrong in imposing the travel restriction because he found Pistorius was not a flight risk.

The athlete must now hand in his passport to his attorney for safekeeping.

If Pistorius wants to travel, he must provide the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with an itinerary, and return his passport to his attorney on arrival back into the country.

Bam said the court must guard against bail being used as a form of punishment.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel opposed the application, saying the athlete brought the appeal in the wrong court.