Pistorius parole review hearing postponed for two weeks: media

Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:31am EDT
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's parole review board has postponed for two weeks a hearing to decide if Oscar Pistorius can be released early from prison, after being sentenced for killing his girlfriend, local media reported on Saturday.

The delay was because the board had been unable to finalize all its cases on Friday, when it had been due to meet to decide if Pistorius should be freed on parole or serve a longer period in jail, local television station ENCA reported.

It gave no specific date for another meeting.

The Paralympics gold medalist was due to be released on house arrest in August after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence, but South Africa's justice minister blocked his release saying procedure had not been followed. He referred the case to the parole review board.

The spokesman for South Africa's prisons could not be immediately be reached for comment. Pistorius' spokeswoman said she had to seek advise from her client before making a statement.

Pistorius was found guilty last September of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, after he fired four 9mm shots through a locked toilet door in 2013 killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day.

During the trial, prosecutors argued Pistorius had killed Steenkamp deliberately after a row. Pistorius said he thought she was an intruder.

Prosecutors are appealing the verdict, arguing it should be murder because Pistorius must have known when he fired that the person behind the door could be killed. The appeal is due to be heard in November.

(Reporting by Peroshni Govender; editing by Susan Thomas)

South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is led to a prison van after his sentencing in Pretoria October 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Hutchings