Oscar Pistorius, Olympian Convicted of Murder, Is Denied Parole


A South African parole board on Friday denied an early release for Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee whose historic run at the 2012 Summer Olympics was quickly overshadowed by a later conviction for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Mr. Pistorius has served about half of his 15-year sentence and was seeking parole, arguing that he had been rehabilitated. But the board denied his petition because it was determined that he had not completed the minimum required detention period, according to the Department of Correctional Services.

On Valentine’s Day a decade ago, Mr. Pistorius shot through a bathroom door in his luxury home in Pretoria, killing Ms. Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, whom he had been dating for several months. Mr. Pistorius argued that he thought an intruder had broken into his home and was hiding in the bathroom, and he only realized that it was his girlfriend after he opened the door.

Ms. Steenkamp’s family has rejected Mr. Pistorius’s version of events and opposed his release on parole.

Tania Koen, a lawyer for Ms. Steenkamp’s family, said Ms. Steenkamp’s mother, June, who had addressed the parole board, was elated by the decision.

“He hasn’t told the truth,” Ms. Koen said.

“Unless he comes clean, they don’t feel that he is rehabilitated,” she added, referring to the family.

Mr. Pistorius’s parole will be reconsidered in August 2024, the corrections department said.

Mr. Pistorius has maintained that he was remorseful for the killing. He met with Ms. Steenkamp’s father, Barry, last year, but the father maintained that Mr. Pistorius was not being truthful about the murder. Prosecutors argued that Mr. Pistorius killed Ms. Steenkamp in a jealous rage after an argument.

Just months before the killing, Mr. Pistorius had been heralded as an inspiration across the globe when he ran the 400 meters at the 2012 Olympics in London, becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympic Games. He became known as the Blade Runner for the carbon fiber prosthetics that he ran on.

Source : Nytimes