A South African parole board is to consider whether former Paralympic star and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius can be released from prison.
He has so far served half of his 13-year sentence for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
If parole is granted, the 36-year-old Pistorius could be released within a few days.
However, Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June, is widely expected to speak out against parole during Friday’s hearing.
The former amputee sprinter is currently being held in a low-security prison on hilly fields outside the city of Pretoria.
He recently met Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s father, as part of a mandatory process known as “victim-offender dialogue.”
But Ms Steenkamp has made public her frustration that the six-time Paralympic gold medalist – while expressing deep regret at killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013 – continues to claim he accidentally shot her because he believed her be a robber.
Pistorius was initially found guilty of manslaughter, but was convicted of murder on appeal because he must have known his actions – shooting three times through a locked bathroom door at his home in Pretoria – would result in the death of whoever it was on the other hand.
“I think he probably has a contentious case [for parole]said Mannie Witz, a defense attorney who also noted that the Steenkamps could challenge a decision to grant Pistorius parole in court, potentially delaying his release by many months.
The televised trial of the man once dubbed the “Blade Runner” for the groundbreaking prosthetic legs he wore in both Paralympic and Olympic track events drew widespread attention around the world.
South African prosecutors were trying to prove Pistorius was an angry, violent man with an unhealthy obsession with guns who killed his 30-year-old girlfriend in a late-night rage.
“I still think he just went nuts and shot her. I personally don’t think he thought there was an intruder,” said Mark West, a photographer who worked with Ms. Steenkamp during her early modeling career.
The parole board – at least three people – will consider testimonies from Pistorius, the Steenkamps and a number of social workers and prison officials. You will look at his behavior, his state of mind and the extent of his rehabilitation.
If Pistorius doesn’t get parole on his first try, or his release is challenged by the Steenkamps, he could still go to court and argue that South African law dictates he should be released under supervision after more than half the time.
This would most likely take place at his uncle’s home in Pretoria pending the outcome of any review or appeal.
Source : news.yahoo.com