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Parole granted to Oscar Pistorius, 10 years after killing his partner

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Oscar Pistorius was granted conditional release on Friday. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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Former South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was granted parole on Friday, effective January 5, 10 years after the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, ​​in a case that captivated the world.

The Department of Correctional Services confirms the conditional release of Mr. Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius, effective January 5, 2024, the Prison Service announced in a press release. The conditions of this release must still be specified.

An ad hoc commission, made up of members of the prison services and ordinary civilians, met in the morning in the prison near Pretoria where Pistorius, 37, is still detained. This commission was responsible for determining whether or not the person convicted of murder is suitable for social reintegration.

Pistorius has not rehabilitated himself in prison, said June Steenkamp, ​​the victim's mother, in a statement submitted to the commission. The family, however, did not formally oppose the request for early release.

In March, a first request was rejected. The prison services had estimated to everyone's surprise that Pistorius, sentenced to 13 years and 5 months in prison on appeal, had not served the minimum period of detention required.

In South Africa, prisoners can benefit from early release after half of their sentence has been completed. Pistorius having been convicted at first instance, then several times on appeal, it was calculated that, according to a count starting from the date of his last conviction, he had not served the minimum time.

But the Constitutional Court contradicted this calculation, ruling last month that the count should begin on the date of his first detention.

In the night From February 13 to 14, 2013, Oscar Pistorius shot dead his partner, model Reeva Steenkamp, ​​29, shooting four times through the bathroom door of her bedroom in her ultra-secure Pretoria home.

Rich, famous, the six-time Paralympic champion was crowned with glory at the time. He had become a sporting legend a year earlier by lining up with the able-bodied in the 400m at the London Olympic Games, a first for a double leg amputee.

Blade Runner, as he is nicknamed in reference to his carbon prostheses, claimed to have believed in the presence of an intruder. He was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter following his first trial in 2014.

The prosecution considered the justice system too lenient and requested a reclassification as murder. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal finally sentenced Pistorius to more than 13 years in prison. Abandoned by his sponsors, ruined, the fallen idol had sold his house to pay his lawyers.

As part of his request for parole , Oscar Pistorius met Reeva Steenkamp's parents last year. A mandatory step aimed, according to the authorities, at ensuring that the detainees recognize the harm caused.

I don't believe his story, June Steenkamp had said. Reeva Steenkamp's father died in September.

The whole procedure was very emotionally taxing, told AFP the family's lawyer, Tania Koen.

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