South Africa prosecutors appeal Pistorius verdict

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius holds the hands of his uncle Arnold as he is taken down to the holding cells after being sentenced to five years imprisonment for the culpable homicide killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the high court in Pretoria, on October 21, 2014. AFP Photo

South African prosecutors on Tuesday appealed the verdict and sentence of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who was last month handed a five-year jail sentence for killing his girlfriend.
After a sensational eight-month trial, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, a charge equivalent to manslaughter, for shooting dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 and began to serve his sentence on October 21.
Prosecutors announced last week that they would  press for a murder conviction and a harsher sentence and on Tuesday officially lodged the appeal.
"Today, we announce that the NPA filed the application for leave to appeal both the conviction and sentence," the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement.        

"The appeal on conviction is based on the question of law."       

During his trial, Pistorius admitted to shooting Steenkamp, 29, four times through a locked toilet door at his upmarket Pretoria home, but said he thought he was firing at an intruder.
Prosecutors alleged that he had shot Steenkamp on purpose after the couple had argued.
High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa found there was not enough evidence to convict the 27-year-old Paralympic and Olympic athlete of premeditated murder.
The disgraced athlete is currently serving his sentence at a hospital section of a Pretoria prison.
The appeal sets the stage for another instalment of a legal battle that has gripped millions around the world.
The date for the appeal application has not been set.
The NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said the application for permission to appeal was expected to be heard by the same judge,...

Continue reading on: