New parole meeting to decide on Pistorius's release

9th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

The South African parole board will meet Friday to reconsider whether to release Oscar Pistorius in the latest stage of a lengthy battle over the length of his jail sentence.

The Paralympian star's lawyers have argued that he should have been allowed out on house arrest in August after serving more than 10 months of his five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend.

But he has remained in jail after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention and the case was referred for review.

"The Parole Board is sitting today to reconsider the case of Oscar Pistorius's placement," the Correctional Services department said in a statement.

"We cannot speculate or predict the outcome of today's meeting."

Earlier this week Pistorius's family accused officials of bowing to "political and media hype" after the star's release was again delayed.

In a trial that made headlines around the world, Pistorius was jailed last year for killing his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day 2013.

He was found guilty of culpable homicide -- a charge equivalent to manslaughter -- after saying he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door because he mistook her for an intruder.

Even if he is released, Pistorius faces a further test on November 3 when prosecutors appeal to South Africa's supreme court for a murder conviction and a harsher sentence.

A champion Paralympian and once a poster boy for sport, Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner" for the prosthetic legs he wore on the track, shot to fame when he raced against able-bodied competitors in the 2012 London Olympics.

Reeva Steenkamp's parents, who are convinced Pistorius murdered their daughter in a rage, have strongly opposed the athlete's possible parole.

© 2015 AFP

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