Pistorius release canceled, referred back to parole board

By Editorial Board - 6 October 2015 at 12:01 pm

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa (AP) — The decision granting Oscar Pistorius early release from prison to go to house arrest was cancelled Monday and referred back to a parole board to be reconsidered.

In the latest delay in the drawn-out saga over whether Pistorius should be allowed to leave jail early, a parole review board ruled that the double-amputee Olympian’s case should be considered all over again, South Africa’s Department of Corrections said.

The independent review board also said Pistorius should be “subjected to psychotherapy” as part of his parole conditions, even if it’s decided that he can be released early, the corrections department said in a statement.

Pistorius’ lawyer Brian Webber said he had been informed of the decision to refer the case back to the parole board but had no more details. The corrections department didn’t say when Pistorius’ case would be looked at again.

It likely means that Pistorius will at least remain in prison until after Nov. 3, when prosecutors still seeking a murder conviction against the runner appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court.

Pistorius was acquitted of murder last year and instead found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. He has served nearly a year of his five-year prison sentence. He was eligible to be moved to house arrest after serving 10 months and initially cleared to leave Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on Aug. 21.

However, South Africa’s justice minister intervened, suspended the decision on a legal technicality and ordered a review.

At next month’s Supreme Court appeal, Pistorius faces the possibility of a 15-year jail sentence if a panel of five judges agrees with prosecutors that he should have been found guilty of murder for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.

GERALD IMRAY, Associated Press

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Editorial Board

Editorial Board

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