Oscar Pistorius goes to court to ask for an early release from his sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The South African athlete, nicknamed Blade Runner after his running prostheses, is serving a 13-year sentence for the 2013 murder, when he shot Ms Steenkamp dead at their home.

He will say he has already served more than half of his sentence – enough to be eligible for parole.

He was initially serving only six years, but in 2017 a South African court more than doubled his sentence to 13 years and five months.

Last year the court ruled that his sentence should be backdated to October 2014, when he was originally convicted on a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Pistorius argues that means he has been eligible for parole since February last year.

“I humbly submit that I have done everything in my power to rehabilitate myself, to conduct myself in such a way as to consistently uphold prison rules, to show complete remorse,” Pistorius told the judges in a statement released by the News24 website.

“I have completed every possible program that has been presented, and have indeed qualified under Department of Corrections guidelines for parole.”

He comes after Pistorius met Ms Steenkamp’s father as part of his parole application.

Image:
Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius. Photo: AP

In South Africa, offenders must serve at least half their sentence before being eligible for parole and then attend a hearing.

A hearing had already been canceled because Pistorius failed to meet Ms Steenkamp’s parents.

Confirming the meeting in a text message, a lawyer for the Steenkamp family, Tania Koen, said the couple met in person on June 22 through a process in South Africa called victim-offender dialogue.

The process gives victims the chance to meet offenders before they become eligible for parole.

Ms Koen added in her message: “The dialogue is a private and confidential matter, which is why we ask that the privacy of our customers be respected.”

The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation also confirmed that the meeting had taken place, writing on its Facebook page: “We express our love and support to Barry and June who have been involved in the process of preparing to meet Oscar Pistorius. Barry has finally met with Oscar on June 22, 2022 for the victim-offender dialogue.

“A word of sincere gratitude to the Department of Corrections, in particular the staff at St Albans Prison, for facilitating the process with sensitivity and professionalism.”

At the time, a prison services spokesperson said that although Pistorius had met Ms Steenkamp’s father, he would continue to serve his sentence as normal and that participation in the victim-offender dialogue process did not equate at the end of a sentence or automatic parole. .

During his trial, Pistorius claimed he shot Ms Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door because he thought she was an intruder.

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