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South Africa Jail Releases Oscar Pistorius, Put Under House Arrest

FILE: South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (C) is escorted to a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

The Associated Press reports that Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner who fatally shot his girlfriend two years ago, was on Monday night released from prison and placed under house arrest.

The AP quoted Manelisi Wolela, a spokesman for South Africa’s Correctional Services Department who sent text messages to the news organization, as saying Pistorious has been placed under correctional supervision.

Wolela, according to the AP, cited officials at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, a prison in Pretoria where Pistorius had served nearly a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter.

The AP further reported that the Correctional Services Department had originally said Pistorius would be released from jail on Tuesday in line with a decision by a parole board at the prison.

''The handling of the actual placement is an operational matter of the local management, and how they handle it is their prerogative that is carried out in the best interest of all parties concerned, the victims, the offender and the Department of Correction Services,'' Wolela said in a second text message.

Under South African law, an offender sentenced to five years or less in jail can be released after serving one-sixth of the term - in Pistorius' case 10 months.

Pistorius was acquitted of murder last year for the Valentine's Day shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but prosecutors have appealed the trial verdict of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, and will seek a murder conviction again at South Africa's Supreme Court in November.

He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if he is convicted by a panel of judges.