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Date set for Oscar Pistorius' appeal bid

November 10, 2014
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Oscar Pistorius' appeal date has been set for 9 December, after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) made the application last week, calling for a tougher sentence.In papers filed at the Pretoria High Court, the NPA challenged Oscar's manslaughter conviction and five-year sentence for the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp. It argued that the outcome of the trial was "shockingly light" and "inappropriate" considering the conditions in which Reeva died.


oscar pistorius1 © Photo: Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter and given a five-year sentence

The model was killed on Valentine's Day last year when Oscar fired four shots through the bathroom door of his home. The Paralympian admitted shooting his girlfriend, but said he mistook her for a burglar in the early hours of the morning. Shortly after his verdict was announced, the NPA warned that it planned to appeal on a "question of law" and have asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to answer certain questions. These include whether Judge Thokozile Masipa correctly applied the principles of dolus eventualis when she found Oscar guilty of culpable homicide – in effect, whether he foresaw the possibility of the death of the deceased.

reeva steenkamp © Photo: Getty Images

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed on Valentine's Day last year

Prosecutors say Judge Masipa may have made a mistake by not convicting the double-amputee runner of murder, and instead giving him a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

They added that the judge had "erred in overemphasising the personal circumstances" of the Paralympian athlete. Oscar's defence lawyers, however, have confirmed that they will oppose the appeal.

oscar pistorius3 © Photo: Getty Images

The South Africa prison where Oscar Pistorius has started serving his sentence

According to the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the 27-year-old athlete may be released from prison after serving just ten months – a sixth of his sentence. He would then spend the rest of his convicted time under house arrest. Oscar is currently serving his sentence in the hospital wing of a Pretoria prison. At the time of his charge, the sprint runner was also given a three-year suspended sentence for firing a gun in a restaurant.

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