Former South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, jailed in 2016 for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will ask a parole board on Friday to release him early from jail, lawyers and officials said. the prison.
Steenkamp’s family opposes his offer and will make verbal and written statements at the hearing about the impact the killing has had on them, their lawyer Tania Koen told Reuters.
“June isn’t looking forward to it, but is doing it for Reeva,” Koen said Thursday, referring to Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp.
Pistorius, behind bars for nearly seven years, became eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year prison sentence.
He met Reeva Steenkamp’s father last year while taking part in a process known as victim-offender dialogue – part of South Africa’s restorative justice program which brings together parties affected by a crime in order to conclude.
The closed parole board meeting is due to start at 10 a.m. local time at Atteridgeville prison, near the capital Pretoria.
The independent parole board must determine, among other issues, whether Pistorius is at risk of committing similar crimes in the future, prison spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said.
He will also review his disciplinary record, prison training programs and his physical and mental condition, prison officials said.
Pistorius’ lawyer, Julian Knight, told Reuters he was “unable to comment until the parole board makes a decision”.
The athlete, known as the ‘Blade Runner’ for his prosthetic carbon fiber legs, went from public hero to convicted murderer in a trial that has sparked worldwide interest.
Once a darling of the Paralympic movement for pushing for greater recognition and acceptance of disabled athletes, Pistorius shot dead model and law student Steenkamp in his bathroom on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Pistorius, a firearms enthusiast, told the court he believed Steenkamp was an intruder when he repeatedly shot her with ammunition designed to inflict maximum damage to the human body.
He was jailed in 2016, initially for a six-year sentence, but that sentence was increased to 13 years after an appeal by prosecutors who argued the original sentence was too lenient.
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