Pistorius set to be released on parole

Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole on August 21 after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 29, 2012) (REUTERS) – South African athlete Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole on Friday (August 21) after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence for culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Olympic and Paralympic track star is behind bars in the capital, Pretoria, after being convicted in October after a seven-month trial.

The release of Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, had been largely expected under South African sentencing guidelines that say non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a custodial sentence behind bars.

A prison service statement said Pistorius would spend the remainder of his time under “correctional supervision”, a form of house arrest.

Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model, died on Valentine’s Day in 2013 when Pistorius shot her through a locked toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home.

Prosecutors had pushed for a murder conviction, but the athlete maintained he fired in the mistaken belief an intruder was hiding behind the door, a defense that struck home with many in a country with one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime.

The state won its bid to appeal the culpable homicide conviction and will seek a murder conviction when the case is heard in November.

Pistorius could face a prison sentence of at least 15 years if convicted of murder.

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