Pistorius will know this Friday if he obtains parole after the murder of his girlfriend
Johannesburg, Nov 21 (EFE).- South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, convicted of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013, will have a hearing this Friday that will determine whether he is released on parole, local media reported today.
In a statement dated Monday, South Africa's Department of Correctional Services said a parole board will consider Pistorius' case and decide "whether or not the inmate is suitable for social integration."
The hearing will be held after the South African Constitutional Court ruled last October that the athlete is eligible for conditional release.
Pistorius, 36, had asked the Constitutional Court to declare him eligible for parole, after it was denied last March.
The athlete argued that both his prison time and the minimum required to qualify for this measure were unfairly increased, which represents a "violation" of his "fundamental rights."
Pistorius asked the Pretoria High Court in 2022 to order a parole hearing, maintaining that he had served more than half of his sentence, a requirement under South African law to be a candidate for that measure.
But on March 31, the parole board concluded that "the inmate did not complete the minimum detention period" and marked August 2024 for another deliberation process.
However, the Constitutional Court confirmed this October that "no later than March 21, 2023, the plaintiff had served half of his sentence."
After a trial that garnered worldwide media attention, Pistorius was initially sentenced in October 2014 to five years in prison for manslaughter, when justice considered that there were extenuating circumstances, but the Prosecutor's Office appealed the ruling.
In November 2015, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal overturned that conviction and found him guilty of murder, referring the case back to the trial court which, in July 2016, sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison for murder.
However, after another appeal by the Prosecutor's Office, the Supreme Court of Appeal increased the sentence in November 2017 to fifteen years, the minimum contemplated by law in cases of murder except in exceptional situations.
That date, 2017, was the one that the Supreme Court of Appeal finally took into account as a starting point to determine last March that the athlete had not reached half of his sentence.
In practice, that sentence meant thirteen years and five months in prison, after deducting the time that Pistorius - who spent a period on bail and under house arrest - had already spent in prison.
Pistorius is serving time for shooting Steenkamp dead in his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day 2013, when he was at the peak of his fame and had amassed a fortune from his sporting career.
He shot him four times through the closed bathroom door and, during the trial, he tried unsuccessfully to defend that he panicked when he mistook Steenkamp for a thief who had entered the house through the bathroom window.
Born with a genetic problem that led his parents to decide to amputate both his legs below the knees when he was eleven months old, Pistorius achieved global fame by running at the London Olympic Games in 2012 on two carbon prostheses.
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