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S. African Paralympian Pistorius Moved From Prison to House Arrest

  • VOA News

FILE - South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is escorted to a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

FILE - South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is escorted to a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

South African Paralympics champion Oscar Pistorius was freed from prison Monday night and will spend the rest of his sentence for killing his girlfriend under house arrest.

Pistorius was supposed to have been released Tuesday, but it was moved up one day to avoid a media circus.

Federal prison department spokesman Manelisi Wolela said the early release was "carried out in the best interest of all parties concerned: the victims, the offender, and the Department of Correction Services."

The 28-year-old Pistorius had served less than one year of his five-year term behind bars. Under South African law, people sentenced to five years or less are eligible to leave prison after serving one-sixth of their terms.

South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, October 21, 2014.

South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, October 21, 2014.

Pistorious, a double amputee, was convicted of culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter — for shooting his girlfriend to death in 2013 through a bathroom door.

Pistorius said he mistook her for a burglar and that the shooting was an accident.

But prosecutors will appeal the manslaughter verdict to the Supreme Court on November 3 and seek a murder conviction, which could get Pistorius at least 15 years in prison.

The man known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, is a six-time Paralympics gold medalist. Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

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