Pistorius says murdered girlfriend would want him to go free: ITV

Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:30am EDT
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By Pete Vernon

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Oscar Pistorius said that Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he was convicted of murdering on Valentine's Day 2013, would want him to go free, in a television interview due to be broadcast on Friday.

The Paralympic athlete, who shot Steenkamp dead through a locked toilet door, told British broadcaster ITV she would want him to dedicate his life to charity, not waste it behind bars.

The 29-year-old gold medalist, known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetics, is awaiting sentencing for her murder on July 6. Prosecutors have asked for at least the minimum 15-year jail term.

Steenkamp's family have not commented on his decision to give his first television interview since her death - though prosecutors have questioned why he felt unable to give testimony but was willing to talk to journalists, accusing him of showing no remorse.

"I don’t want to go back to jail. I don’t want to have to waste my life sitting there," Pistorius told ITV, which issued excerpts from the interview on Thursday.

He said that if he managed to avoid imprisonment, he would like to help the less fortunate.

"I would like to believe that if Reeva could look down upon me that she would want me to live that life," he said.


Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko