Oscar Pistorius could be up for parole 8 years after killing his girlfriend

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Photo credit: Ian MacNicol - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ian MacNicol - Getty Images

South African Paralympic champion sprinter Oscar Pistorius could be eligible for parole after serving half of his prison sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, who was the first double amputee to race at the Olympics in 2012 and holds six Paralympic gold medals, was sentenced to six years for manslaughter in 2014. This conviction was upgraded to murder in 2015, increasing his prison sentence to 13 years.

However, Pistorius’s lawyer argued that the time Pistorius had already served in prison counted towards his sentence. This meant that he could be considered for parole two years earlier than courts had originally indicated, as South African law permits a prisoner to be considered for parole once they have served a minimum of half their sentence.

The Department of Correctional Services confirmed that the other factor that will effect whether he is eligible for parole is his participation in the ‘restorative justice’ legal process. This involves Pistorius meeting with Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry, providing an opportunity for both parties to reconcile.

The Steenkamp family’s lawyer, Tania Koen, told national broadcaster SABC : 'June and Barry stand by their view that proper legal procedures must be followed. They accept that it’s going to happen, but as far as forgiveness is concerned June has always said that she has forgiven Oscar, but that doesn’t mean he mustn’t pay for what he has done.

'Forgiveness is not an issue for June – Barry battles with that, but that is something that he will have to voice at the appropriate time.'

Pistorius killed Reeva at his home in February 2013. The prosecution called it a deliberate act after the pair had had an argument, while Pistorius maintains that he shot her four times through a locked door after mistaking her for an intruder.

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