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Prosecution to file appeal against Oscar Pistorius' 'shockingly light' sentence

ANI
Published Nov 5, 2014, 10:30 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 4:28 pm IST
Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead on Valentine's Day last year
Oscar Pistorius (Photo : AFP)
 Oscar Pistorius (Photo : AFP)

Pretoria: South African prosecutors have reportedly sought permission to appeal against the `shockingly light` sentence of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

Last month, Pistorius began serving a five-year prison sentence for the culpable homicide of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who he shot dead on Valentine's Day last year in his Pretoria home and claimed that he mistook her for an intruder, although he could be out in 10 months.

Prosecutors said that the sentence failed to consider the horrendous manner in which Steenkamp was killed, The BBC reported.

Prosecutors are also appealing against Pistorius' murder acquittal. The double-amputee Olympic sprinter was charged by the prosecution with the pre-meditated murder of Steenkamp.

Pistorius was acquitted of this charge and the High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa charged him with the lesser murder charge of dolus eventualis, also known as common-law murder in South Africa and applies if the accused knew they might kill someone but went ahead with their course of action, on 21 October.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Mncude said in a statement that the appeal on conviction is based on the question of law.

In papers filed with the North Gauteng High Court and published by South Africa's Eyewitness News on its website, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that Masipa erred in over-emphasising the personal circumstances of the accused and the fact that the accused was suffering from post-traumatic stress, was anxious and 'seems remorseful'.

Nel added that not enough emphasis was placed on the horrendous manner in which the deceased died coupled with the gruesome injuries she sustained when the accused shot and killed her.

Nel also said that Pistorius' sentence was shockingly light, inappropriate and would not have been imposed by any reasonable court. The prosecution had called for Pistorius to be given the maximum 15-year sentence for culpable homicide, or manslaughter.

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