Pistorius lawyers challenge prosecution’s right to appeal
Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers were in court Friday to make a last-ditch attempt to stop an appeal that could see the fallen Paralympian hero face a stiffer verdict and significantly more time behind bars for the Valentine’s Day’s killing of his model girlfriend.
Pistorius’s defence argued in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg that the state’s appeal of a judge’s decision finding the champion sprinter not guilty of murder was unsubstantiated.
The 28-year-old Paralympian was found guilty of culpable homicide last year — a charge akin to manslaughter — and sentenced to five years in prison for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
State prosecutors were in December granted permission to appeal the trial verdict, arguing that Judge Thokozile Masipa misinterpreted the law when she ruled Pistorius did not intentionally kill his girlfriend when he shot four times at a locked toilet door.
But Pistorius’s legal team say his conviction was based on facts presented during the trial, not on an interpretation of law, and therefore cannot be appeal
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