Pistorius lawyers argue for lighter bail restrictions

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Lawyers for South African track star Oscar Pistorius, charged with killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, argued in court Thursday for more lenient bail restrictions, including permission to travel overseas.

Authorities charged Pistorius with premeditated murder last month after he shot Steenkamp in his Pretoria home on February 14.

At present, under the terms of his bail, he cannot return to the Pretoria home where the shooting happened or talk to witnesses in the case. He also had to give up his passport, cannot go near an airport and cannot drink alcohol.

Barry Roux, a lawyer for Pistorius, argued in Pretoria’s North Gauteng High Court that the athlete’s passport should be given to the investigating officer and that he should be allowed to travel under certain conditions.

Pistorius is “not insensitive and it’s not that he wants to jump on a plane and leave South Africa,” Roux said.

“He has no desire to compete but why stop him from traveling under controlled circumstances?”

His legal team also questioned the need to impose a restriction on drinking alcohol. Pistorius did not attend Thursday’s hearing.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court he plans to serve Pistorius with an indictment on June 4.

Judge Bert Bam’s decision is expected later Thursday.

Pistorius spent eight days in jail before a magistrate freed him on bail on February 22.

The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, known as the “Blade Runner” for competing on carbon fiber blades fitted to the stumps of his amputated legs, says he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

Prosecutors argue he intentionally killed her after a loud argument.

CNN’s Nkepile Mabuse reported from Johannesburg and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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