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'August jail release' for Pistorius

South African prison officials have recommended that Oscar Pistorius be released from prison on August 21 to go under house arrest.

Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise says that a prison committee recommended Pistorius be released from the prison in Pretoria after serving one sixth of his five-year sentence, or 10 months, for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

A decision by the parole board is pending.

August 21 is 10 months since Pistorius was sentenced by a judge after being convicted of culpable homicide for killing Steenkamp.

Mr Modise said the committee made the recommendation on the basis of the double-amputee Olympic athlete's good behaviour in the jail in the South African capital, Pretoria.

Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said the conditions of Pistorius's house arrest won't be made public.

If released, Pistorius would be under strict probation conditions and would be monitored, Mr Modise said. He said authorities would consider allowing him to begin training again.

However, Pistorius will also again face the possibility of a minimum of 15 years in prison if a panel of judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal overturns the original decision in his murder trial and convicts him of murder.

The court has not yet set an exact date for the start of the appeal, court registrar Paul Myburgh said, but it will be this November.

Last year, prosecutors appealed the decision by trial Judge Thokozile Masipa to find Pistorius guilty of the lesser charge, saying he should have been convicted of murder for shooting four times through the toilet cubicle door, killing Ms Steenkamp.

In December, judge Masipa granted prosecutors permission to appeal her finding at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Mr Myburgh said chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux had already met with the president of the court.

Some of the details of the appeal hearing have been ironed out: Prosecutors must submit their court papers outlining their argument by August 17. Pistorius's defence team must submit its response by Sept. 17, Mr Myburgh said.


From Belfast Telegraph