Pistorius prosecutors to appeal verdict and sentence

South African prosecutors will appeal the verdict and sentencing of Oscar Pistorius, who was handed a five-year prison term after being convicted of culpable homicide, the country’s National Prosecuting Authority said.

“We are appealing it,” said Nathi Mncube Mncube, a prosecution spokesman.

“Both conviction and sentence.”

Prosecutors will file papers in court, and more details about their appeal arguments will be available at that time, the spokesman said.

Pistorius started serving his prison sentence on October 21 after he was acquitted of murder by a judge and found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home last year.

Under the current terms, the Olympic runner is eligible for release after 10 months and would then complete his sentence under house arrest.

At the time of the sentencing, Mncube said that prosecutors were disappointed with the culpable homicide conviction and believed they had a strong murder case against the double-amputee athlete.

The decision to go ahead with further court action means Pistorius could still face a murder conviction and a much longer prison term for killing Steenkamp.

Experts say there are grounds for an appeal, partly because the judge may have misapplied a part of South African law called “dolus eventualis” — which says someone should be found guilty of murder if they foresaw the possibility of killing someone and went ahead anyway.

The experts questioned how Masipa ruled that Pistorius did not predict that someone might die when he decided ont he night to shoot four times from close range into a small toilet cubicle in his home, hitting Steenkamp in the hip, arm and head.


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