Oscar Pistorius out of prison, under house arrest
Johannesburg — Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner who fatally shot his girlfriend in 2013, was released from prison and placed under house arrest on Monday night, a South African official said.
“Oscar Pistorius was placed under correctional supervision tonight,” Manelisi Wolela, a spokesman for South Africa’s correctional services department, said in a cellphone text message sent to The Associated Press.
Wolela cited officials at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, a prison in the South African capital of Pretoria where Pistorius had served nearly a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter.
Pistorius was acquitted of murder last year for the Valentine’s Day shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but prosecutors have appealed the trial verdict of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, and will seek a murder conviction again at South Africa’s Supreme Court on Nov. 3.
The correctional services department had originally said Pistorius would be released from the Pretoria jail on Tuesday in line with a decision by a parole board at the prison.
“The handling of the actual placement is an operational matter of the local management, and how they handle it is their prerogative that is carried out in the best interest of all parties concerned, the victims, the offender and the Department of Correction Services,” Wolela said in a second text message to the AP.
Under South African law, an offender sentenced to five years or less in jail can be released after serving one-sixth of the term — in Pistorius’ case 10 months.
If Pistorius is convicted of murder by a panel of five judges at the appeal, he faces going back to prison for 15 years, the minimum sentence for murder in South Africa, which no longer has the death penalty.