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After one year in jail, Oscar Pistorius will be released on Tuesday

The paralympian, found guilty of culpable homicide over the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will be released later this month.

Image: Associated Press

Updated 4.25pm

OSCAR PISTORIUS WILL be placed under house arrest next week after officials said he would be paroled having served one year of a five-year term for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Lawyers for the South African Paralympian star had argued he should have been allowed out in August after serving a sixth of his sentence for killing 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.

Steenkamp’s parents say Pistorius killed their daughter on purpose and have contested any parole.

“They are not surprised at all – it was expected,” Tania Koen, a lawyer acting on behalf of Steenkamp family, told AFP after speaking to June and Barry Steenkamp.

But it doesn’t change anything in their lives. Their daughter is still not coming back. Whether Pistorius is incarcerated or released on parole, their daughter is still gone.

After meeting last week, the parole board said it wanted to consult with Steenkamp’s family over Pistorius’s possible release.

An official statement from the department of correctional services said the parole board ”approved the placement of offender Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision as from 20 October 2015.

The parole board considered all submissions, including the offender’s profile report, the directives of the Parole Review Board and the submission of the victim’s family.

It gave no details about Pistorius parole conditions except that they included “continued psychotherapy” and firearms restrictions.

Legal experts said the decision entailed house arrest, with severe restrictions on his movement. He may have to wear a tracking tag and report regularly to a local police station. 

State to appeal

Pistorius’s family had accused officials of bowing to “political and media hype” in denying him parole.

“I do think correctional services have probably considered how unfairly he has been treated. He should have been released on 21 August,” Brian Webber, a lawyer representing Pistorius, told AFP last week.

South Africa Pistorius Shooting Source: AP/Press Association Images

In a trial that made headlines around the world, Pistorius, now 28, 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.

After his release, Pistorius will face a further test on 3 November when prosecutors appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court for a murder conviction and a tougher sentence.

South Africa Pistorius 2012 Summer Olympics, London Source: AP/Press Association Images

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.

The trial revealed the world-famous athlete to have a volatile personality and a penchant for guns.

He was accused of firing a gun through the sunroof of an ex-girlfriend’s moving car in 2011 and, weeks before he shot Steenkamp, he accidentally discharged a gun at a Johannesburg restaurant.

- © AFP, 2015, additional reporting by Nicky Ryan

‘He killed her. He admits he killed her’: Reeva Steenkamp’s parents in face of Pistorius release >

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