News Africa

Friday 27 April 2018

Pistorius family angry over new ruling that keeps athlete in jail

In prison: Oscar Pistorius
In prison: Oscar Pistorius

Mark Latham

The refusal to free Oscar Pistorius from prison on parole "flies in the face" of justice, his family has claimed.

The relatives of the South African Olympic athlete have criticised authorities for delays in deciding whether he should be released from jail and moved to house arrest, saying his rights were being "undermined" because of the publicity in his case.

The family also reacted angrily to parole officials' recommendation that the double-amputee runner undergo psychotherapy, saying he was already receiving "regular and ongoing" psychotherapy from both his personal and prison psychologists.

The Pistorius family spoke out in a written statement after his early release - which had been granted in June - was cancelled on Monday and ordered to be reconsidered.

"This experience leaves us with the uncomfortable conclusion that the public, political and media hype that was allowed to develop around Oscar's trial has undermined his right to be treated like any other prisoner," Pistorius's family said.

"The failure to give proper - and consistent - effect to the Correctional Services Act flies in the face of administrative justice," it said.

Pistorius was approved to be released into home detention on August 21 after serving 10 months of his five-year manslaughter sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

But the justice minister intervened two days before Pistorius was to leave jail and ordered a review, saying the parole board met two months early.

After a seven-week delay, officials reviewing Pistorius's case on Monday sent it back to that original parole board to consider all over again.

"We cannot understand ... why the matter is now to be referred back to the parole board," the family said.

Irish Independent

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