Oscar Pistorius may be released from jail within weeks after serving half his sentence
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Oscar Pistorius may be released from prison within a matter of weeks, having served half of his sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Model Steenkamp, 29, was shot dead by Pistorius in 2013, after which the South African Paralympian claimed he thought he was shooting an intruder at his Pretoria home.
Pistorius, 36, was originally found guilty of culpable homicide, but after an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa in 2015, this was overturned and he was convicted of murder.
He is now expected to attend a parole hearing that will decide whether or not he can be released from prison, having served half of his 13-year sentence.
According to the Press Association, Pistorius could leave Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria on Friday if his parole is granted, although the Department of Corrections said the process may take days to finalise if his application is successful.
Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June Steenkamp - who have said they oppose Pistorius’s release - are allowed to address the parole board at his hearing, with a submission by a victim's relatives one of several factors taken into account.
Barry said last month: “He is a murderer. He should remain in jail."
The Department of Corrections declined to give details on Pistorius’s hearing, saying it was 'an internal matter' like any other parole hearing.
According to guidelines, the board will consider the offence Pistorius was convicted of, his conduct and disciplinary record in prison, whether he took part in educational or other training courses, his mental and physical state, whether he is likely to 'relapse into crime' and the risk he poses to the public.
Legal expert Neo Mashele said: “Generally speaking, the behaviour of the offender is the most important consideration.”
Pistorius’s parole lawyer Julian Knight previously said the former athlete had been a 'model prisoner'.
Last month, Steenkamp's parents opened up about visiting Pistorius in prison, saying they wanted to know the ‘truth’ about their daughter’s death.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain on 14 February - 10 years since Steenkamp’s death - they were asked how Pistorius had been during the visit.
Barry said: "Naturally, anybody who has been in prison and you've killed or murdered somebody, there's always remorse after that.
"Except for the odd person who doesn't care, but I'm sure that he did have remorse after shooting Reeva.
"When I went and met Oscar I asked him certain questions.
"All June and I wanted to know was the truth - what we feel was the truth - that he actually killed her because of anger."
He continued: “I didn’t get the answers that I wanted. So, it could have taken us the whole day but in the end it was shortened by me saying we aren’t getting the answers that we want. And we’ll leave it at that. Now only Oscar knows the true story.”
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