Oscar Pistorius Murder Case: Judge Allows Athlete to Leave South Africa

Oscar Pistorius in Court 2/19 - H 2013
AFP/Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius in Court 2/19 - H 2013

The Olympic track star, who's accused of killing model Reeva Stampkamp, can now leave the country for athletic competitions.

A South Africa judge has reduced the bail restrictions on Oscar Pistorius, allowing the double-amputee Olympic track star to leave his native country to participate in athletic competitions, NBC News reports.

Pistorius stands accused of the premeditated murder of model Reeva Steenkamp, whom she shot to death at his home on Valentine's day. The athlete, known as "Blade Runner," alleges that he mistakenly thought his 29-year-old girlfriend was an intruder; the prosecution argues that he killed her with intent after an argument.

"I find no reason why Pistorius should be forbidden from leaving (South Africa) if he's invited to compete in athletic events in other countries," Judge Bert Bam was quoted as saying in court Thursday.

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Pistorius' attorneys said he has no set travel plans but might be required to make money by competing abroad. If he so, he must show authorities an itinerary and hand over his passport 24 hours after landing back in South Africa.

Also on Thursday, the 26-year-old sprinter was granted permission to visit his house in Pretoria -- the scene of Steenkamp's shooting. He was not present at the bail hearing; last month, he was released on bail for around $113,000.

Meanwhile, Pistorius' brother, Carl Pistorius, will stand trial next week after pleading not guilty on Wednesday to the culpable homicide, or negligent killing, of a female motorist in 2008.

The Olympian's murder case has attracted headlines around the world and also inspired a BBC documentary that aired in the U.S. on TLC.