Pistorius family ‘deeply grateful’ to Judge Masipa

2014-09-12 14:40

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Addressing media in court today, Oscar Pistorius’ uncle Arnold said they were “deeply grateful” to Judge Thokozile Masipa.

He said the judgment was a “big burden” off the family’s shoulders and that they never doubted the athlete’s version of events.

The Paralympian was found guilty of culpable homicide and evaded murder charges related to the shooting of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He could be jailed for a maximum of 15 years on October 13 when sentencing will commence at the North Gauteng High Court.

Masipa ruled that his bail be extended until then on the same conditions as earlier.

This despite state prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s argument that Pistorius was a suicide risk, given the athlete’s “self-harm” nightclub incident and findings in the Weskoppies psychological report. Nel also argued that Pistorius might skip the country given that he recently sold off three properties.

Roux countered that Pistorius sold the properties to afford his legal fees, adding that the 27-year-old celebrity was not suicidal.

Said Roux: “The self-harm episode followed the accused’s visit to a nightclub which, frankly, was a mistake.”

Presumably the defence will encourage Pistorius to keep out of the public limelight until sentencing.

In addition, Masipa found him guilty on one out of three counts relating to firearms. She found him guilty of negligence and of endangering the lives of 200 patrons at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch, when he fired a gun under a table, narrowly missing his friend’s foot.

Masipa said the state failed to convince her on the other two counts: involving a shot fired through a car’s sunroof and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Even though Masipa described him as an “evasive” witness, she said it did not necessarily make him guilty in a case based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Her verdict has elicited a storm of criticism.

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