South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius Will Soon Know If He Is Released

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius


Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic champion who murdered his girlfriend ten years ago, will learn whether he is eligible for parole in a month, his lawyer said Thursday.

“We have been informed by the parole board that the hearing will take place on March 31,” Julian Knight told AFP.

Pistorius, now 36, shot Reeva Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door of his ultra-secure Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013.

The former athlete, a below-knee amputee, has always denied killing his fiancée in a passion, claiming he mistook her for a burglar.

The sprinter, nicknamed “Blade Runner” due to his carbon fiber prosthetics, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Prisoners in South Africa are automatically eligible for release after serving half of their sentence.

The law applies to everyone, and “Oscar Pistorius is not an exception,” said Tania Koen, the lawyer for his victim’s parents, to AFP.

Oscar Pistorius saw Reeva Steenkamp’s parents in early July, in accordance with the procedure that requires the criminal to meet with the victim or his family.

The decision is normally made the same day as the hearing or the next day, and “if the result is negative, the convict has the right to go to court for a review,” Knight explained.

Pistorius rose to prominence a year before his murder of Steenkamp when he competed in the 400 meters with able-bodied athletes at the London Olympics.

He was sentenced to six years in prison at first, but the term was later enhanced to thirteen years after the state appealed, claiming that it was too lenient.


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