April 23, 2018

Pistorious Appeal rejected

Oscar Pistorius

African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorious’ lawyers have lost bid to prevent prosecutors from appealing against his acquittal on murder charges. Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled against the application in the Johannesburg high court. Pistorious was found guilty of shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead in February 2013. Pistorious was given a five year sentence for a lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter. After the hearing, Judge Masipa said, standard procedure did not permit her to either grant or refuse the application. “In my view, to entertain this application will be tantamount to reviewing my own decision. For one thing there is nothing new in the submissions by council for the applicant.” She said. The Paralympics champion was acquitted by judge Masipa of both predetermined murder and the lesser murder charge of dolus eventualis, also known as common-law murder. In the South African law, this charge applies if the person accused knew well they might kill someone but still went on with their course of action. The prosecutors are pushing for the appeal as they believe that a full bench of judges in the supreme court of Appeal will concur with them that Judge Masipa misinterpreted the principles of dolus eventualis and will both convict him of murder and impose a longer sentence.

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