, PRETORIA, South Africa, Oct 15 – The South African parole board will meet again Thursday to consider whether to release Oscar Pistorius in the latest stage of a legal battle over the length of his jail sentence.
The Paralympian star’s lawyers have argued that he should have been released and granted house arrest in August after serving one-sixth of his five-year jail sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
But he remained behind bars after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention and the case was referred for review.
After meeting last week, the parole board said it would reconvene on Thursday, adding it wanted to consult with Steenkamp’s family over Pistorius’s possible release.
Steenkamp’s parents say Pistorius killed their daughter on purpose and have previously contested any parole.
“I wish I knew what will happen, but there have been so many surprises in this case that I can’t predict anything,” Brian Webber, a lawyer representing Pistorius, told AFP last week.
“I do think correctional services have probably considered how unfairly he has been treated. He should have been released on August 21.”
Pistorius’s family have accused officials of bowing to “political and media hype” by denying him parole.
In a trial that made headlines around the world, Pistorius was jailed last year for killing Steenkamp, a model and law graduate.
He was found guilty of culpable homicide – a charge equivalent to manslaughter – after saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door because he mistook her for an intruder.
Even if he is released, Pistorius faces a further test on November 3 when prosecutors appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court for a murder conviction and a tougher sentence.
Once a poster boy for Paralympic sport, Pistorius, known as the “Blade Runner” for the prosthetic legs he wore on the track, rose to global fame when he raced against able-bodied competitors in the 2012 London Olympics.