South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, in prison for the murder of his girlfriend in 2013, has been transferred to a southern prison as part of his request for parole, prison services said on Monday.
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“Oscar Pistorius was taken to a prison in Gqeberha (south). He will remain there until the end of his parole application process, ”a spokesperson told AFP. The former athlete amputated below both knees had so far been held in a prison in the capital Pretoria.
While at the height of his fame, he was convicted in 2015 of killing model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day, by shooting four times through the bathroom door.
Sentenced to 13 years in prison, he has always denied the murder, saying he was convinced that a thief had entered his ultra-secure home in Pretoria.
A year earlier, Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner”, had become a world star by lining up with able-bodied athletes in the 400 meters of the London Olympics.
Now 34, he served more than half of his sentence in July, the minimum required to consider parole.
The lawyer for the Steenkamp family joined by AFP, Tania Koen, said she had been informed of the transfer. “Prison services should send social workers to talk to parents and prepare them” for the release application process, she said, without further comment.
She had explained earlier this month that the news of possible parole came as a shock to the victim’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp.
The date of the start of the talks was not communicated. According to South African procedure, the prison services must conduct interviews with the victim or his family, as well as with the prisoner before being released on parole.