O.J. Simpson paroled but still faces years in prison

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - O.J. Simpson was granted parole for offences related to his 2008 armed robbery trial on Wednesday but still faces years behind bars as he completes other jail terms.

The disgraced former American football star - infamously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1995 - won parole for counts of kidnapping, robbery and burglary with a firearm, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners said.

Hearing examiner David Smith said in an email to AFP that Simpson had been paroled due to his "positive institutional conduct, participation in programs, lack of prior conviction history." However Simpson, 66, still must serve at least 12 months on four concurrent sentences for using a weapon during the robbery and kidnapping.

He then will face further back-to-back sentences of at least 18 months each for sentences of assault with a deadly weapon, making a total of at least four years.

The fact Simpson was still facing consecutive prison sentences was also a factor in the board's parole decision, Smith said.

Simpson was sentenced to between nine and 33 years in prison for his 2007 raid on a Las Vegas hotel room, when he sought to recover items of memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him.

One of the most famous American football players of his generation during a glittering 1970s career, Simpson was the prime suspect in the 1994 brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson, who has always vehemently denied the killings, was acquitted after a racially charged 1995 trial in Los Angeles, in a verdict that was greeted with widespread outrage across America.

He was subsequently found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil suit and was ordered to pay damages to the victims' families totaling US$33.5 million (S$42.6 million).

He has repeatedly said he will not pay the settlement.