Oscar Pistorius can leave South Africa for international competitions, judge rules

Oscar Pistorius can leave South Africa.

A judge has ruled that Pistorius, the Olympic athlete charged with murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, may leave South Africa for international competitions. However, there are significant conditions to Pistorius' travel rights; he must file travel plans with authorities at least a week before departing, and he must surrender his passport within 24 hours of returning to South Africa.

According to his attorneys, Pistorius has no immediate plans to compete in any international competition, but he may need to run in the future in order to raise money for his legal fees. Pistorius' attorneys have long maintained that he is not a flight risk, and that he needs the ability to compete in races in order to remain financially solvent.

Pistorius is facing severe financial difficulties because of his attorneys' fees. Local South African media reports have indicated that he has explored selling his racehorses and other assets in order to pay his legal bills.

Police have indicated that they have no interest in striking any sort of plea deal with Pistorius, meaning they will pursue charges of premeditated murder. He maintains that he shot her by accident, believing that she was an intruder.

Pistorius has been free on a bond of 1 million rand (about $113,000) for the last month. The case has been continued until June 4, and Pistorius is under court order to avoid his home and all witnesses involved in the case. He must also report to a police station twice a week and abstain from alcohol.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Facebook and Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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