South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius denied parole for lover’s murder

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Oscar Pistorius stands at the dock before the start of proceedings at a Pretoria magistrates court February 22, 2013 [Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

Pistorius, popularly known as ‘The Blade Runner’, became world famous at the 2012 Paralympic Games, before the murder trial that ended his career a year later.

South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been denied parole after seeking early release from prison, a decade after shooting and killing his girlfriend, lawyers said.

“We were … advised at this point in time that it has been denied and it will be considered again in one year’s time,” Tania Koen, a lawyer for the victim’s family, said on Friday.

The Department of Correctional Services said Pistorius had not completed the minimum detention period required for parole.

Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, firing four times through the bathroom door of the house where the duo lived in Pretoria.

Known worldwide as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, he was jailed in 2016, initially for a six-year term. The sentence was increased to 13 years after prosecutors appealed, arguing that the initial sentence was too lenient.

He had pleaded not guilty and denied killing Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.

Friday’s parole hearing was held at a correctional facility on the outskirts of the capital where the 36-year-old is being held.

Prisoners in South Africa are automatically eligible for parole consideration after serving half of their sentence. Pistorius has served more than half, having started his term in 2014.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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