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Pistorius parole hearing date set

SOUTH AFRICA – The review board which will decide whether South African athlete Oscar Pistorius should be released from jail will meet on 18 September.

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp have said Pistorius' time in jail is "not enough for taking a life"The parents of Reeva Steenkamp have said Pistorius’ time in jail is “not enough for taking a life”

The justice minister blocked his early release, which was due last Friday.

He said the decision by the parole board to free the athlete after serving 10 months of his five-year sentence was premature and without legal basis.

A court convicted him of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, over the killing of his girlfriend in 2013.

The double-amputee shot Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at his home in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, believing she was an intruder, he told his trial.

The prosecution has appealed against the ruling, saying he should be convicted of murder.

Pistorius’ defence lawyers are to file court papers to oppose the appeal on 17 September, a day before the parole review board meets, South Africa’s privately owned eNCA news site reports.

“We do understand that the parole [review] board will be sitting on the 18th of September. The date has been set,” AFP news agency quotes a family spokesman as confirming.

Pistorius wants to serve the rest of his prison sentence under house arrest.

He was born without the fibulas in both of his legs, and had surgery to amputate both below the knee while still a baby.

He went on to become one of South Africa’s best-known sports stars, and was the first amputee sprinter to compete against able-bodied athletes, at the 2012 London Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius:

  • Born without a fibula in either leg, his lower limbs were amputated aged 11 months
  • At the age of two, he was given his first pair of prosthetic legs and had mastered them within days
  • In June 2003, he shattered his knee playing rugby and, on the advice of doctors, took up track running to aid his rehabilitation
  • Won one gold medal at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, and three gold medals at the 2008 games in Beijing
  • Became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men’s 400m and 4×400 m relay races in the 2012 London games
  • At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, won gold medals in the men’s 400-metre race and in the 4×100m relay, setting world records in both events
  • Fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeve Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on 14 February 2013. He claimed he had mistaken her for an intruder
  • Sentenced to five years in prison for culpable homicide in 2014

 

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