Ten years after former South African sprint star Oscar Pistorius was jailed for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the 36-year-old has been denied parole. The parole board, which met at Pistorius' prison in a suburb of Pretoria on Friday, rejected the request of the former disabled athlete, lawyer for Steenkamp's parents, Tania Koen, told the AFP news agency. However, his application will be re-examined in a year.
"I don't know why the application was rejected," Koen said. She was only informed "that it was rejected and that it will be re-examined in a year". Koen's clients, Reeva Steenkamp's parents June and Barry Steenkamp, have repeatedly spoken out against Pistorius being released early.
Pistorius shot his girlfriend through the bathroom door in his heavily secured house on the night of February 14, 2013. By his own admission, he had mistook her for a burglar.
Pistorius was arrested immediately after the crime. In 2014 he was initially sentenced to five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors appealed and charged him with murder. As a result, the term of imprisonment was increased to six years in 2016. In a renewed appeal process, Pistorus was finally sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison in 2017.
South African law provides that a convict can apply for reduced sentence when he has served half of his sentence. Pistorius' procedure for possible release from prison began a good year ago and also included a meeting between the ex-athlete and his former girlfriend's parents.
The case had attracted international attention. Interest in the twists in the case was huge.
Before the violent death of his girlfriend, Pistorius had written sports history. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he was the first disabled person to compete against able-bodied athletes in the 400-meter dash. In addition, the runner, known at the time as the "Blade Runner" because of his lower leg prostheses, has won a total of six gold medals at the Paralympic Games.