Tuesday is D-day for Oscar Pistorius appeal

Tuesday is D-day for Oscar Pistorius appeal

The State’s appeal against former paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction is expected to be heard in the Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Oscar Pistorius 2
Gallo Images

The State is seeking to have him convicted on the more serious charge of murder for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s day, 2013.

Pistorius was last month released on parole from the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria and is serving out his sentence under correctional supervision at his uncle’s luxurious Waterkloof mansion.

He was sentenced to five years, but served only one year, in line with South African legislation which stipulates that offenders serve a sixth of their sentences.

If, however, he is convicted of murder, the minimum jail term is 15 years.

State prosecutors are expected to try and convince the judges that Pistorius intentionally meant to shoot whoever was behind his bathroom door when he fired the four shots that killed Steenkamp.

In court papers already filed, Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux argues that challenging the original verdict would be unfair as the case had been subjected to intense public scrutiny “which could only contaminate and confuse objectivity and reliability of witnesses and the proceedings”.

He argues Pistorius had “already fulfilled the custodial part of his sentence on the same facts” and that the trial was “complex and lengthy and the facts were extensively canvassed”.

Roux also stated that Pistorius’s financial ability to pay for a new trial was “non-existent”.

A panel of five judges will hear the appeal – they are P Mpati, JA Mhlantla, JA Leach, JA Majiedt and AJA Baartman.

Journalists who do not have prior approval will not be allowed to cover proceedings. To avoid a media frenzy, the registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Paul Myburgh has organised for an audiovisual feed or “poolfeed” for media houses. - ANA

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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