Lawyers to Oscar Pistorius say he cannot afford another murder trial. The athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide – a similar charge to manslaughter – by a judge and was sentenced to five years in prison last year for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home on Val’s Day 2013.
However, South African prosecutors have appealed the conviction and say Pistorius should be jailed for murder. His lawyer Barry Roux filed fresh evidence to the Supreme Court of Appeal yesterday arguing the runner cannot afford a new trial – and he would be unable to get a fair hearing anyway.
Roux argued because Pistorius’ first trial was subject to such intense public scrutiny, it would “contaminate and confuse” the reliability of witnesses.
The athlete’s “financial ability” for a new trial was “non-existent”, Roux added.
This comes as a parole board is due to decide on Friday whether to release Pistorius from prison to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest or serve the rest of his time in jail.
He was due to leave prison on August 21, exactly 10 months on from his sentencing. But Justice Minister Michael Masutha unexpectedly stopped the move saying the parole board had acted prematurely by setting the release date.
Prison officials have declined to provide details on Pistorius’s specific conditions for supervision once he leaves jail – to protect his ‘privacy’.