Pistorius' parole review hearing postponed for 2 weeks

AP News
Posted: Sep 19, 2015 8:47 AM
Pistorius' parole review hearing postponed for 2 weeks

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A second hearing to decide whether Oscar Pistorius should be released early from prison has been postponed for two weeks, South Africa's Department of Correctional Services said Saturday.

The department's parole review board met on Friday to consider a number of cases but didn't complete them, it said in a statement. Pistorius' case was one of those which still must be reviewed.

The double-amputee Olympian was initially approved to be released and moved to house arrest last month. However, South Africa's justice minister intervened and ordered a review, saying a parole board's decision at a hearing back in June was premature.

Pistorius, 28, was sentenced to five years in prison last October after being convicted of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. Under South African law, he was eligible for release after serving one-sixth of his sentence in jail — in his case 10 months.

But two days before his expected Aug. 21 release, Justice Minister Michael Masutha ordered a review of Pistorius' case on a technicality, saying his release was approved in June and before he had served 10 months.

Pistorius is being held in the hospital wing at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in central Pretoria. If he is released, he would likely serve the remainder of his five-year sentence under house arrest at his uncle's mansion in suburban Pretoria.

Even if he is released early from jail, the former star athlete's court battles are not over. Prosecutors are appealing his acquittal for murder at the Supreme Court in November, where he will again face the possibility of a murder conviction and a 15-year jail sentence for shooting Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet door in his home.