3 Dec 2015

Ex-Olympian Oscar Pistorius found guilty of murder by South Africa Appeals Court

South Africa’s top appeals court ruled on Thursday that Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic star known as the Blade Runner, was guilty of murder in the 2013 killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, overturning a lower court’s conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The appeals court ordered the lower court to hand a new sentence to Mr. Pistorius, who has already served about a year in prison and is now under house arrest for the previous conviction. A murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The appeals court sided with state prosecutors on central points, saying that the manslaughter conviction had been based on a misinterpretation of laws and erroneous dismissal of circumstantial evidence.

The court said that Mr. Pistorius, who has said repeatedly that he accidentally killed his girlfriend when he believed his home had been broken into, should have foreseen that his actions would cause the death of a person.

The court did not say where Mr. Pistorius, 29, who has been under house arrest since October, is expected to remain pending a new sentence. He was not present when five judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein delivered their verdict. Ms. Steenkamp’s relatives, who were in court, embraced upon hearing the ruling.


Credit: New York Times

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