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Oscar Pistorius goes to court to force a hearing after serving half of his sentence

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South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has asked the courts to force prison authorities to release him on par after serving half of his 13-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, 35, shot and killed Steenkamp, ​​a model, while in the bathroom in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. He said he thought a burglar was hiding in his en-suite bathroom when he fired four shots through the door.

However, this did not convince the jury and he was found guilty of murder.

He was initially given a five-year sentence for wrongful death, which was extended to six years in July 2016.

The state later appealed a longer jail term, and the Supreme Court increased the jail term to 13 years and five months.

Last year, the same court ruled that his sentence should be retroactively reversed to October 2014, when he began serving his sentence almost eight years ago.

To be eligible for parole in South Africa, an offender must first serve half of his term. Pistorius and his lawyers argue that this means he was eligible for parole last February.

South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius (pictured in court at a 2016 hearing) has asked the courts to force prison authorities to release him on parole after serving half of his 13-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius (pictured during the 2012 London Olympics), 35, shot and killed Steenkamp, ​​a model, while in the bathroom in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013.

Pistorius, 35, shot and killed Steenkamp (pictured together in 2012), a model, while in the bathroom in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013.

Pistorius (left, participating in the 2012 London Olympics), 35, shot and killed Steenkamp (pictured right with Pistorius in 2012), a model, while in the bathroom in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013

His lawyer Julian Knight told AFP that the athlete was seeking an injunction to force Gauteng Supreme Court authorities to hold a hearing.

However, Atteridgeville Prison – where he is currently held – says the appeals court has issued conflicting rulings.

The South African Department of Correctional Services has said it is also seeking a court ruling to determine when his sentence officially began.

“It’s a request to force the probation commission to convene a hearing to consider his parole,” Knight said. “It doesn’t mean that he should be paroled, but that he should be considered,” Mr. Knight said.

A date for the hearing has not yet been set, he said, refusing to provide further details.

In July, the Judicial Services Department confirmed that a meeting had taken place a month earlier between the parents of Pistorius and Steenkamp.

The encounter was part of Pistorius’ rehabilitation, which is also a requirement to request parole.

Attorney Tania Koen said in June that Pistorius and Barry Steenkamp met in person on June 22 as part of what is known in South Africa as a victim-perpetrator dialogue.

Pictured: Barry Steenkamp, ​​father of Reeva Steenkamp, ​​leaves the Supreme Court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 14, 2016, after Oscar Pistorius' conviction trial

Pictured: Barry Steenkamp, ​​father of Reeva Steenkamp, ​​leaves the Supreme Court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 14, 2016, after Oscar Pistorius’ conviction trial

It gives crime victims or their family members the chance to meet the perpetrators, if they wish, before the perpetrator can be considered for parole.

When Barry is satisfied with the outcome of the talks and believes that his daughter’s killer is truly remorseful. It was not clear at the time whether he was satisfied.

Last year, the Steenkamps spoke of their fears when Pistorius wrote them a letter after being considered for parole. “June and I were stunned,” Barry Steenkamp, ​​Reeva’s father, said at the time.

Pictured: June 15, 2016, Oscar Pistorius leaves the Supreme Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after his sentencing trial.  Oscar Pistorius met Reeva Steenkamp's father in June, the woman he shot dead in 2013 as part of his parole proceeding.

Pictured: June 15, 2016, Oscar Pistorius leaves the Supreme Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after his sentencing trial. Oscar Pistorius met Reeva Steenkamp’s father in June, the woman he shot dead in 2013 as part of his parole proceeding.

Pistorius was born with a congenital condition that caused both of his legs to be amputated below the knee when he was a baby.

Known worldwide as the ‘Blade Runner’ for his carbon fiber prosthetics, Pistorius became the first double amputee to race in the Olympics when he competed in the London Games in 2012, a year before shooting Steenkamp.

But his image as one of the sport’s most inspirational figures was shattered when he shot 29-year-old Steenkamp multiple times through a restroom door in his home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013.

He claimed he mistook her for a dangerous intruder, but was convicted of a charge akin to second-degree murder for acting so recklessly by firing his 9mm pistol through the toilet door.

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