Oscar Pistorius loses parole hearing to leave prison early
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/REUTERS/Frans Sello Waga Machate
Oscar Pistorius is set to remain in prison after being denied parole more than 10 years after the death of his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius, 36, has so far served half of his 13-year sentence after he was convicted of killing Steenkamp on Valentines Day in 2013.
A parole hearing took place today (31 March) at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria to determine whether Pistorius should be released from prison early, with South Africa's parole board meeting behind closed doors to consider their decision.
The board took into account Pistorius' conduct and disciplinary record in prison, as well as his participation in educational or other training courses and his mental and physical state.
However, the board announced today that it would not be granting parole.
"The reason provided is that the inmate did not complete the minimum Detention Period as ruled by the Supreme Court of Appeal," a media statement released by the Correctional Services explained.
The news comes after Steenkamp's mother, June, told Sky News it would be 'hard to be in the same room' as Pistorius when the hearing took place.
When asked if she believed Pistorius was remorseful over the death of her daughter, June responded: "No, never."
"He's not remorseful or rehabilitated," she added.
Pistorius was accused at his trial of having deliberately shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door in the middle of the night, though Pistorius insisted that he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder and that her death was an accident.
He was initially convicted for culpable homicide, but following an appeal by prosectors, he was convicted of murder.
Steenkamp's family made clear their thoughts on Pistorius' possible release as they offered verbal and written statements to the parole board, according to their lawyer, Tania Koen.
Pistorius will be able to reapply for parole in 2024, two years after he first began his bid for parole with the claims he had 'done everything in [his] power to rehabilitate'.
In a statement given at the time, the former athlete said: "I have completed all possible programmes which were presented, and I have indeed qualified in terms of the Dept of Correctional Services guidelines for release on parole."
Last year, Pistorius met with Steenkamp's father, Barry, as part of South Africa's restorative justice programme known as victim-offender dialogue.
When Steenkamp's family arrived at the hearing today, June Steenkamp told reporters: "We don't believe his story."
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