Oscar Pistorius appeal: Prosecutors have 'appetite' to appeal culpable homicide charge

The state has two weeks to decide if it wishes to lodge an appeal

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The Independent Online

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority has said it has the "appetite" to appeal the culpable homicide verdict handed down to Oscar Pistorius, with the hope of securing a murder conviction.

In sentencing the athlete to five years in prison Judge Masipa said his negligence had bordered on "dolus eventualis", the Latin term that is essentially South Africa’s equivalent of lesser degree murder.

South African law stipulates that Pistorius could be eligible to serve part of his sentence under corrective supervision, or house arrest, from as little as ten months.

But that is only the earliest point at which such a change in his conditions could be “considered”, and the decision would be up to the prison officer.

 

Judge Masipa repeated her view that she was satisfied Pistorius believed he was firing at an intruder, and that if he had intended to kill he would have aimed higher, not at the door handle, but she was nevertheless damning in her assessment of his actions.

"He knew there was someone behind the door. He had heard the door slam shut. He had heard something from behind the door.

"The evidence shows he thought an intruder was behind the door. The accused fired not one but four shots.”

"He said he would have fired higher if he had intended to kill. That does not change the fact that he knew the toilet was a small cubicle, and there was no room for escape for the person behind the door."

 

Oscar Pistorius’s Uncle Arnold, the family spokesperson, shook his head and said ‘no’ when asked by journalists if they were considering an appeal.

State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel indicated at the end of the sentencing, which lasted around an hour, that he considered it "the end of the case".

In fact the state has two weeks to decide if it wishes to lodge an appeal, and the decision would not be made personally by Mr Nel.

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