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Release of Oscar Pistorius suspended pending review

AFP/File

South Africa's Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it is suspending the release of Oscar Pistorius from prison until his case is reviewed by a parole board. Pistorius was due to be transferred to house arrest on Friday.

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Justice Department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said his release will have to be reviewed again because he was approved for the transfer to house arrest too early.

Mthunzi said Pistorius should have served 10 months of his sentence before being considered for release. He was approved for parole in June, eight months into his five-year sentence.

Pistorius was due to be moved to house arrest on Friday after serving 10 months for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day of 2013.

Mhaga didn't say when the parole board would meet to reconsider Pistorius's case.

Prosecutors seek murder charge

If placed under house arrest, the Department of Correctional Services will consider allowing the double-amputee Olympian to train on the track. But international and South African sports bodies have already said Pistorius will not be allowed to compete during the remainder of his sentence. Pistorius will be nearly 33 when his sentence is over.

Judge Thokozile Masipa acquitted the double amputee sprinter of the charge of murder over Steenkamp's death in September 2014 but she found him guilty of culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter.

Prosecutors are still seeking a murder conviction, saying his manslaughter conviction was insufficient. They appealed to the Supreme Court, which is to consider the case in November.

With much of his prison time suspended for good behaviour, he is set to spend another four years and two months under house arrest at his uncle's luxurious Pretoria home.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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