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South African prosecutors appeal against Pistorius verdict

November 4, 2014 6:22 pm

South African prosecutors have filed an appeal against the verdict and sentence of Oscar Pistorius, who last month was sentenced to five years for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend.

“Today we announce that the NPA filed the application for leave to appeal both the conviction and sentence,” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said in a statement.

“The appeal on conviction is based on the question of law.”

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Pistorius stood trial for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot four times through a locked toilet door in the early hours of Valentines Day in 2013.

The prosecutors described the five-year sentence handed to Pistorius as “shockingly light and inappropriate” in the appeal papers filed in the High Court.

“The sentence of five years imprisonment … for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp in the circumstances of this case is shockingly light, inappropriate and would not have been imposed by any reasonable court,” the court papers read.

The Olympic athlete admitted to shooting Steenkamp, 29, at his upmarket Pretoria home, but told the court that he had mistaken her for an intruder.

The state sought to prove that Pistorius deliberately shot Steenkamp.

But Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa found there was not enough evidence to convict the 27-year-old of premeditated murder.

He was found guilty of culpable homicide, a charge equivalent to manslaughter, after a seven-month trial.

The date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set.

Pistorius is currently serving his sentence in a hospital section of a Pretoria prison.

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