Oscar Pistorius still in prison?
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The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius documentary: Is Reeva Steenkamp’s killer still in prison?

Controversial four-part series follows the harrowing trial

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BBC documentary series The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius airs on TV tonight (Sunday, November 8) and looks into the fallen iconic sports star who is now in prison for murder.

The four-part series profiling the Paralympian champion has faced heavy criticism before airing.

Critics lashed out at the BBC as the name of Reeva Steenkamp, who Pistorius killed, did not feature in the trailer.

But what else do you need to know about this controversial documentary?

Oscar Pistorius on the track (Credit: BBC iPlayer)
Oscar Pistorius was a Paralympian champion (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

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Why has The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius documentary been criticised?

The BBC removed a trailer for the series in late October, after it caused a storm on Twitter when the BBC press office shared it.

Many observers were disgusted that murder victim Reeva’s name did not appear in the trailer or the tweet.

The hashtag #SayHerName quickly trended on social media as part of the backlash.

The BBC later said it ‘regretted’ the lack of reference to Reeva Steenkamp.

It said in a statement: “We regret that the original trail did not refer to Reeva Steenkamp directly.

“We are aware of the upset it has caused, which was never the intention.

“We have removed the trailer and it will be replaced by something more representative of the series.

“[Which] examines in detail a number of complex issues connected to her murder.”

Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in 2013
Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp dead in 2013 (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

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Why did Oscar Pistorius kill Reeva Steenkamp?

Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva dead on Valentine’s Day 2013.

He claimed that he believed he was shooting an intruder hiding in the bathroom of his home.

He has stuck by that version of events, even after a judge declared him guilty of her murder.

Has Pistorius ever shown any remorse for Reeva’s death?

Judge Legoabe Willie Seriti said during a Supreme Court of Appeal hearing in 2017 said he did not show remorse and did not appreciate the gravity of his actions.

He commented: “I find it difficult, on the evidence, to accept that the respondent is genuinely remorseful.

“To my mind, the attempt to apologise to the deceased’s family does not demonstrate any genuine remorse on his part.”

In court scenes, Pistorius appears to be distraught when Prosecution interrogate him, particularly when they show a graphic image of Reeva dead.

Was Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder?

A judge declared Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide (equivalent to manslaughter) at a first trial in 2014.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa overturned this conviction and convicted Pistorius of murder.

Oscar Pistorius in court
Oscar Pistorius  following Reeva’s death (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

When will Pistorius be released from prison?

Pistorius initially received a sentence of six years in prison, potentially meaning eligibility for release after three years.

The National Prosecuting Authority appealed the “shockingly lenient” sentence.

The prison sentence increased to 13 years and five months in November 2017.

Pistorius must wait until at least 2023 before he is eligible for release. 

Why has Reeva Steenkamp’s mother forgiven Oscar Pistorius?

June Steenkamp recently appeared on Good Morning Britain and explained why she had chosen to forgive Pistorius.

She had previously said: “It’s actually important to forgive him for me, because I don’t want to live with bitterness in my life.

“It would become my whole being. I don’t want that.”

Ms Steenkamp continued: “He made a mistake, an enormous mistake, and I’ve lost the most precious thing in my life – my beautiful daughter.

“But still I can forgive. I can forgive.”

What do viewers think of it?

Some have accused the documentary of being like an homage to the shame sportsman.

Watch all episodes of The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius on BBC iPlayer by clicking here.

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