(Pretoria) The former Paralympic champion could be spending his last days behind bars: Oscar Pistorius, convicted of the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, will be set on possible parole after a hearing on Friday.

An ad hoc committee met in the morning at Atteridgeville prison, near the South African capital Pretoria, where he is being held. The now 36-year-old athlete, sentenced on appeal to 13 years and 5 months in prison, was to defend his case there.

South African law provides that a person convicted of murder can benefit from early release once half of his sentence has elapsed. Oscar Pistorius has been eligible since July 2021.

It should be set during the day, after deliberation by the committee.

“We have been informed that a decision will be made later today,” the victim’s family lawyer, Tania Koen, told reporters shortly before noon as the hearing continued.

The victim’s mother, June Steenkamp, ​​had arrived a few hours earlier, visibly distressed, outside the prison to testify at the hearing closed to the media.

“It’s going to be painful as you can imagine,” his lawyer told reporters. “June is going to face whoever killed her daughter this morning. For them [the parents] it’s a life sentence”, they miss their daughter Reeva “every day”.

They “believe that he should not be released” because “he has shown no remorse and he is not rehabilitated because if he was he would have been honest and told the true story of what happened. happened that night,” she added.

The lawyer had told AFP, a few days before the hearing, that the Steenkamp parents “expect nothing in particular”, justice must “take its course”.

The commission is responsible for “determining whether the purpose of imprisonment has been achieved”, explained the prison administration. The behavior of the detainee, his physical and mental state as well as the risk of recidivism will be examined.

The case goes back ten years. In the early hours of Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, Pistorius fired a rifle through his bedroom bathroom door. Model Reeva Steenkamp, ​​29, who came to spend the night at his home in Pretoria, was shot four times.

Rich, famous, the six-time Paralympic champion had entered the legend of sport a year earlier by aligning himself with the able-bodied in the 400 meters at the London Olympics, a first for a double amputee.

“Blade Runner”, his nickname in reference to his carbon prostheses in the shape of feline paws, is arrested in the early morning. He pleads a mistake, explains that he believed that a burglar had managed to break into his ultra-secure residence.

During his trial at first instance, broadcast live on television for eight months in 2014, the ex-star appeared in tears, even vomiting when reading the autopsy report. He was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter.

The prosecution finds the justice too lenient and appeals to demand a conviction for murder. The legal saga keeps the media in suspense and the world is passionate about this extraordinary case.

On appeal, Pistorius appears before the judges on his stumps. A psychologist called by the defense describes a “broken” man. He was sentenced to six years in prison for murder.

The prosecution still considers the sentence insufficient. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal sentenced Oscar Pistorius to 13 years and 5 months in prison. Dropped by his sponsors, ruined, the fallen idol sells his house to pay his lawyers.

His lawyer Julian Knight explained to AFP that if his release is refused, Oscar Pistorius will be able to request a reconsideration of his request.