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Olympian Oscar Pistorius can be launched from jail on parole

South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, who was imprisoned for the homicide of his mannequin girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, can be launched after a profitable parole bid on Friday, South Africa’s Division of Correctional Companies mentioned in a assertion.

The previous Paralympic champion is serving a sentence of greater than 13 years for the homicide of Steenkamp, after he shot her at his house on Valentine’s Day in 2013. His televised trial made headlines around the globe.

South Africa’s Ministry of Justice and Correctional Companies mentioned Pistorius can be launched from jail on Jan. 5.

It mentioned that the choice was made after having “assessed Mr. Pistorius’ profile and different materials submitted for the needs of parole consideration.” It added that he was a “first time offender” and had a “optimistic assist system.”

“The applications that had been contained in his correctional sentence plan had been all accomplished,” division spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo informed reporters earlier than Friday’s listening to.

Pistorius, 37, was dubbed the “blade runner” for his velocity on carbon-fibre prosthetic legs after turning into a double amputee as a baby. He gained six Paralympic gold medals and have become the primary amputee runner to compete within the Olympics on the 2012 London Video games and was hailed as a sporting champion.

Steenkamp was a mannequin and paralegal. The couple had dated for a number of months earlier than Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp by way of a locked toilet door in his residence in Pretoria. He claimed in courtroom that he had mistaken his girlfriend, then 29, for a burglar.

June and Barry Steenkamp, the mother and father of Reeva Steenkamp, had been “shocked and stunned” after they had been knowledgeable of an earlier chance of Pistorius’s parole eligibility, Tania Koen, a lawyer for the sufferer’s household beforehand informed The Washington Submit. June had forgiven Pistorius “due to her religion,” Koen mentioned, and Barry discovered it “troublesome however is able to begin a dialogue.” June Steenkamp didn’t attend Friday’s listening to as a result of “I merely can not muster the power to face him once more at this stage,” she mentioned in an announcement learn by a household good friend earlier than Friday’s listening to (Barry Steenkamp died in September).

“I don’t imagine Oscar’s model that he thought the individual in the bathroom was a burglar,” June Steenkamp mentioned within the assertion. “In reality, I have no idea anyone who does. My dearest youngster screamed for her life. … I imagine he knew it was Reeva.”

A South African parole board initially denied Pistorius’s request for parole in March, ruling he had not served sufficient of his sentence. However the division of corrections overturned that call final week, saying the parole board didn’t account for the time Pistorius had served in jail whereas his homicide sentence was being appealed.

In an announcement, Pistorius’s lawyer, Conrad Dormehl, reacted to the parole board’s choice with gratitude and dissatisfaction.

“We welcome the Parole Board’s choice in ruling that Mr. Pistorius is to be positioned on parole. As well as, and while we’re grateful for the knowledge which has been offered in relation to the date on which he’ll lastly be launched on parole, we’re disenchanted that the date just isn’t sooner, notably following the order handed down by the Constitutional Court docket which discovered that Mr. Pistorius was eligible for parole as early as March of this 12 months.”

A South African decide initially convicted Pistorius of culpable murder, the equal of manslaughter, in 2014 after discovering that prosecutors didn’t show Pistorius dedicated homicide when he shot Steenkamp. Pistorius steadfastly claimed that he thought he was capturing at an intruder in his home.

In December 2015, prosecutors succeeded in having Pistorius’s unique conviction overturned, and South Africa’s Supreme Court docket of Enchantment discovered him responsible of the extra severe homicide cost, ruling that the lower-court decide misapplied the legislation find him responsible of the less-serious cost.

Amy Cheng in Seoul and Lesley Wroughton in Cape City, South Africa, contributed to this report



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