scar Pistorius faces a parole hearing today (March 31) that will decide if he can be released from prison 10 years after the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. The Paralympic could be released jail in South Africa this week as his conditional hearing goes in his favour.
Now he is automatically eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year prison sentence.
But who is Oscar Pistorius and what are the details of his crime?
Who is Oscar Pistorius?
Oscar Pistorius, 36, is a former professional athlete from South Africa. He was born with a congenital defect, which meant that he had to have both feet amputated as a baby.
He competed in sprint events and became a Paralympic champion, before competing in non-disabled sporting events, such as the Olympics.
Between 2010 and 2012, he appeared in a number of reality TV shows, including the Italian versions of Celebrity Survivor and Dancing with the Stars.
In 2013, he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who claimed to have mistook her for an intruder.
What did Oscar Pistorius do?
The Paralympian was jailed after being found guilty of the murder from Steenkamp. He shot her four times through his bathroom door in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. At trial, Pistorius, now 36, claimed he shot his girlfriend with a gun because he believed she was an intruder.
He was initially found guilty of culpable homicide – an offense similar to manslaughter in the UK – but prosecutors appealed and he was subsequently found guilty of her murder.
Pistorius was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison for her murder, prompting prosecutors to appeal again against what they called a “shockingly light sentence”.
South Africa’s Supreme Court then more than doubled his sentence in 2017 to 13 years and five months in prison.
Is Oscar Pistorius still in prison?
At the moment yes. Under South African law, prisoners are eligible for parole once they have served half their sentence. Pistorius has reached the threshold and submitted his application, which will be heard on March 31.
When is Oscar Pistorius coming out?
It is not yet certain that he will be. The parole system is the same as in the UK, where a board of experts hears testimony from both the prisoner and the victims and hears from prison about the behavior of prisoners and whether they remain a danger to the public.
Pistorius has been reported to have become a spiritual leader behind bars in an interview with The times. Pistorius’ father, Henke, has shared how he leads a Bible study and prayer group in an effort to help violent criminals become better people.
He said: “I have no doubt that Oscar has changed the prison environment for the better. He helps to mediate between people and has a positive influence. He can feel that he is making a difference to others who really needed a difference – to give their lives meaning, purpose and some hope.
What do Reeva Steenkamp’s parents think of the parole hearing?
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents do not want her killer released and believe he should spend the “rest of his life” behind bars. But the pair have no power to block the parole hearing, which is set for March 31.
In an interview with the Mail Onlinethe couple said they had previously forgiven Pistorius, but changed their mind when he refused to admit his intention to kill their daughter.
Barry Steenkamp said: “I told Oscar directly that he deliberately shot my daughter and he denied it. He stuck to his story that he thought it was an intruder. After all these years, we are still waiting for him to admit that he did it out of anger. That’s all we wanted.
“If he had told me the truth, he would have been a free man by now and I would have let the law take its course on his parole. But I was wasting my time. He’s a murderer. He should stay in jail.”