Prosecution Appeals Sentence, Starts New Phase In Pistorius Case

Prosecution Appeals Sentence, Starts New Phase In Pistorius Case

South African state prosecutors began legal proceedings Tuesday to appeal what they called the “shockingly light” sentence handed down in October to Olympic star Oscar Pistorius who admitted to shooting his girlfriend, NYTimes reports.

From NYTimes. Story by Alan Cowell.

Pistorius was acquitted of murder charges but convicted on a lesser charge of culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in prison. South African law calls for him to serve at least 10 months of the sentence in prison before he can be released to house arrest.

During his seven-month trial, Pistorius, 27, a double amputee since infancy, said he was not guilty of murder but admitted to killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law school graduate and model. He said he believed that an intruder had entered his home when he fired four rounds through a locked bathroom door on Feb. 14, 2013, not realizing that Steenkamp was inside.

In a statement Tuesday that was also posted on Twitter, Nathi Mncube, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, said, “The appeal on conviction is based on the question of law.” The prosecution contends that Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa, who oversaw the trial, should have found him guilty of murder, not negligent homicide.

Judge Masipa “erred in overemphasizing the personal circumstances of the accused and the fact that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress, was anxious and ‘seems remorseful,’ ” the prosecutors said.

Pistorius is being held in the hospital wing of the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, formerly known as Pretoria Central, in Pretoria, the South African capital.

Read more at NYTimes.