Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius hope the former Paralympic champion, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend a decade ago, will be released immediately if granted parole today.

Pistorius (37) will appear before a parole board at a correctional centre outside Pretoria where he is detained, reports The Witness.

Asked whether the hope was for the ex-athlete to be home for Christmas, Pistorius’ lawyer Conrad Dormehl told AFP that ‘the best-case scenario’ was ‘an immediate release’ today.

Legal experts and a lawyer for the victim’s family have previously told AFP that, normally, it can take weeks before a prisoner who is granted parole is effectively discharged from jail.

Pistorius lost a first bid for parole in March, when a board found he had not completed the minimum detention period required to be let out.

But the Constitutional Court last month ruled that was a mistake, paving the way for a new hearing.

The Department of Correctional Services normally follows a ‘one-month policy’, allowing 30 days for prisoners to complete a pre-release programme before letting them out, said Nicole van Zyl, a law researcher at University of the Western Cape. 

An earlier date could be set if authorities were to take into consideration the delay caused by the error previously made in calculating Pistorius’ minimum detention period and the public scrutiny that followed, she said.

An immediate release was thus ‘not impossible’, said Dormehl.

Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, firing four times through the bathroom door of his ultra-secure Pretoria house.

He has always denied killing Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.

Full report in The Witness