Prosecution to appeal Pistorius’ 5-year manslaughter sentence

South African National Prosecution Authority on Monday said it would appeal against the five-year prison sentence handed to Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Spokesman of the authority, Nathi Mncube, who made this known in Johannesburg, said that the body would appeal against the conviction and sentence of the paralympic athlete.

The 27-year-old double-amputee sprinter, who shot Mr. Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home on February 14, 2013, was convicted of culpable homicide on Sept. 12, 2014.

Prosecutors failed to prove murder after the athlete said he fired in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind the door, a defence that struck a chord with many people in a country with one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime.

The trail judge, Justice Thokozile Masipa’s decision drew criticism from some legal experts.

They argued that the judge made an error in her interpretation of the legal concept of ‘dolus eventualis’, where a person was held accountable for the foreseeable consequences of his actions.

Some lawyers, however, said that her verdict was sound.

In South Africa, an appeal by the state against a verdict can only be made on a matter of law, and does not involve a retrial or the submission of any new evidence.


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