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Image: Oscar Pistorius Bail Restrictions Softened: Can Travel, Drink Alcohol

Oscar Pistorius Bail Restrictions Softened: Can Travel, Drink Alcohol

By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 02:07 PM

A South African judge on Thursday lifted some of the bail conditions for Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee Paralympic "Blade Runner" accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last month at the couple's home in Pretoria.

Pistorius, 26, is currently free on bail after reportedly shooting and killing his 29-year-old supermodel girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at the couple's home on Valentine's Day morning. Pistorius claims he fired the shots into a locked bathroom door when he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder in the middle of the night.

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On Thursday, Judge Bert Bam slammed the "punitive" bail conditions set by a magistrate Feb. 22 that required Pistorius to surrender his passport, ask permission to travel outside his hometown of Pretoria, check in at a police station twice a week, refrain from drinking alcohol, and stay away from his home where the shooting took place.

Bam called the conditions unwarranted and unfair and ruled that Pistorius will now be allowed to travel for sporting competitions and drink alcohol. He will no longer have to check in with a probation officer.

Henke Pistorius, Oscar's father, said he was relived by the decision to ease the bail terms.

"It's a huge relief and we are very happy about it," Pistorius told the Telegraph. "It also gives a lot of trust in the fairness of the judicial system, which is something that every South African must be able to trust at all times."

Pistorius' amazing struggle against adversity warmed the hearts of the world during the 2012 London Olympics when he became the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied runners at the games. He reached the semifinals of the 400-meter race and took home a silver medal for South Africa. His carbon-fiber prosthetic blades earned him the nickname "Blade Runner."

Pistorius was reportedly born without fibula bones and underwent double amputation below the knee as an infant.

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Related stories:

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