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Pistorius Family Angered at Parole Board Delay

  • VOA News

FILE - Oscar Pistorius sits in court, after sentencing.

FILE - Oscar Pistorius sits in court, after sentencing.

The family of convicted South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, who was jailed in 2014 for killing his girlfriend, is criticizing government authorities for delays in transferring the star from prison to less restrictive house arrest.

A parole board on Monday ruled that Pistorius, who has served 10 months of a 5-year manslaughter sentence, should not yet be granted house arrest, despite earlier qualifying for it. The board ruled he first should undergo psychotherapy.

In a statement Tuesday, the family accused parole officials of bowing to "public, political and media hype" surrounding the case, which drew global media attention just hours after super model Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius' home in 2013. At trial last year, defense lawyers argued he shot Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder in the middle of the night.

Pistorius was approved for release to his home under supervision in August, in a fairly common procedure for South African offenders sentenced to prison for five years or less.

But weeks later, South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha overruled the decision, saying the board made its decision two months before the 10-month prison stay had been completed.

Justice authorities on Monday sent the case back to the original parole board to consider it all over again.

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