Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner and Paralympic champion serving prison time for murdering his girlfriend, met with the victim’s father last month as part of the South African parole process.
Pistorius, 35, met privately with Barry Steenkamp on June 22. Steenkamp was the father of Reeva Steenkamp, who was dating Pistorius when he fatally shot her in 2013.
“The dialogue is a private and confidential matter, hence we ask that our clients’ privacy be respected,” Steenkamp family lawyer Tania Koen said Friday.
The victim-offender meeting is a requirement for parole in the South African judicial system, provided the victim’s family requests it. The Steenkamp family’s opinion of Pistorius could influence the parole decision, but they have not publicized their thoughts.
Pistorius became eligible for the meeting last year, halfway through his prison sentence of 13 years and five months. Pistorius’ own attorney described him as a “model prisoner.”
The long and winding Pistorius case began in 2014, and he was initially convicted of manslaughter. Prosecutors appealed for a murder conviction and succeeded. But Pistorius was sentenced to a shockingly short six-year term, which was later expanded to 13 years by a higher court.
Pistorius became world famous after winning six Paralympic gold medals from 2004 through 2012 and competing at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the 10th athlete to compete in both the Paralympics and Olympics. He was known as the “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic running blades.
With News Wire Services