The South African parole board will meet on Friday to reconsider whether to release Oscar Pistorius in the latest stage of a lengthy battle over his jail sentence.
The Paralympian’s lawyers have argued that he should have been allowed out on house arrest in August after serving more than 10 months of his five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.
But he has remained in jail after justice minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention and the case was referred for review.
Andrew Fawcett, a member of the Pistorius legal team, told South African media on Friday that the athlete’s lawyers had written to the department of correctional services to warn that they would seek an urgent court hearing if the parole board did not move swiftly to consider his release.
The department of correctional services said in a statement: “The Kgosi Mampuru II correctional supervision and parole board (CSPB) is sitting today to reconsider the case of Oscar Pistorius’s placement under correctional supervision.
“The autonomous CSPB of Kgosi Mampuru II is expected to consider all issues raised by the parole review board and make a decision, which will be communicated accordingly.”
The department said it “could not speculate or predict the outcomes of today’s meeting”.
If the parole board decides that he is eligible for release under house arrest, it is possible that Pistorius could leave jail as early as today.
Earlier this week Pistorius’s family accused officials of bowing to “political and media hype” after the star’s release was again delayed.
Pistorius was jailed last year for killing Steenkamp on Valentine’s day 2013. He was found guilty of culpable homicide – a charge equivalent to manslaughter – after saying he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door because he mistook her for an intruder.
Even if he is released, Pistorius faces a further test on 3 November when prosecutors appeal to South Africa’s supreme court to try to secure a murder conviction and a harsher sentence.
Steenkamp’s parents have strongly opposed the athlete’s possible parole.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.