Jailed killer Oscar Pistorius meets victim Reeva Steenkamp’s father in a bid for freedom after he shot her dead in 2013
- Oscar Pistorius met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp in jail in bid for parole
- They met on June 22 as part of South Africa’s victim-offender dialogue
- Outcome of the talks were not revealed and so Pistorius’ parole still unclear
- Pistorius was convicted of murdering girlfriend Steenkamp in 2013
Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee former track star, has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot to death in 2013, as part of his parole process, the Steenkamp’s family lawyer said on Friday.
Lawyer Tania Koen said in a text message that Pistorius and Barry Steenkamp met face-to-face on June 22 as part of what’s known in South Africa as a victim-offender dialogue.
It gives victims of crimes or their relatives a chance to meet with the offenders, if they choose to, before the offender can be eligible for parole.
If Barry is satisfied with the outcome of the talks and believes his daughter’s killer has truly repented.
Koen confirmed the meeting but declined to give any more details. She wrote in her message: ‘The dialogue is a private and confidential matter, hence we ask that our clients’ privacy be respected.’
Pistorius, once a double-amputee track star who made history by running at the Olympics, became eligible for parole last year, eight years after killing his girlfriend in his home in the South African capital, Pretoria.
Pistorius, who is now 35, was ultimately convicted of murder in 2015 after a long and dramatic trial and numerous appeals. He was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.
Pictured: June 15, 2016, Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after his sentencing proceedings. South African former track star Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot to death in 2013, as part of his parole process,
Pictured: Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 14, 2016, after Oscar Pistorius’s sentencing proceedings
Pistorius (right), a world-famous double-amputee athlete who competed at the 2012 Olympics, has been eligible for parole since July after he was jailed for shooting model Reva Steenkamp (left) multiple times through a toilet door in his home on Valentine’s Day 2013
He has served most of his sentence at a prison in Pretoria but was moved to a facility in the southern city of Gqeberha, the Steenkamps’ home town, ahead of the meeting with Barry Steenkamp.
A parole hearing for Pistorius was scheduled for last year but it was cancelled because he hadn’t yet met with Steenkamp’s parents.
In South Africa, those convicted of a serious crime must serve at least half their sentence before they are eligible for parole.
Pistorius met and spoke with Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp (pictured), as part of his parole process
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents June Steenkamp and Barry Steenkamp react after Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murdering their daughter in a South African court
Pistorius had already served time in jail after being initially convicted of culpable homicide – a charge similar to manslaughter – before an appeal by prosecutors resulted in that being overturned and him being convicted of murder.
Pistorius must still attend a parole hearing, where department of corrections officials will decide if he should be released early.
Pistorius, who was born with a congenital condition that led to both his legs being amputated below the knee when he was a baby, became a multiple Paralympic sprinting champion running on carbon-fiber blades, and even qualified to compete against the world´s best able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics
Pistorius´ lawyer, Julian Knight, said last year that he had been ‘a model prisoner’ and met the requirements for parole.
Last year, the Steenkamps spoke of their anguish when Pistorius penned a letter to them after he became eligible for parole.
‘June and myself, we were dumbfounded,’ Barry said at the time.
Pistorius was born with a congenital condition that led to both his legs being amputated below the knee when he was a baby.
He became a multiple Paralympic sprinting champion running on carbon-fiber blades, and even qualified to compete against the world´s best able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.
But his image as one of the most inspiring figures in sports was shattered when he shot the 29-year-old Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet door in his house in the early hours of Valentine´s Day 2013.
He claimed he mistook her for a dangerous intruder but was convicted of a charge comparable to second-degree murder because he acted so recklessly by firing through the toilet door with his 9mm pistol.
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