State can appeal Pistorius verdict, not sentence

2014-12-10 10:27

The state’s application to appeal against Oscar Pistorius’s sentence has been dismissed, but Judge Thokozile Masipa granted the appeal against his conviction of culpable homicide today.

The appeal was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria this morning.

“In the result in respect of the application... the following order is granted. One, the application for leave to appeal against sentence is dismissed,” Masipa said.

However, on the application against his conviction, she said: “I am satisfied that the points raised by the applicant [the State] are indeed a question of law.”

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will deal with the judgment to re-examine the matter of dolus eventualis in the case.

On October 21, Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

The state filed papers last month calling for a heavier conviction and harsher sentence to be imposed on the athlete.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Tuesday argued that the sentence imposed on Pistorius was “shockingly inappropriate”.

However, Barry Roux, for Pistorius, said the law was correctly applied in convicting and sentencing.

Roux said the state was not allowed to appeal based on factual findings the court made, but only on a point of law.

Pistorius was sentenced to an additional three years, suspended for five years, for discharging a firearm at Tashas restaurant in Sandton, Joburg, in January 2013.

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