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Judge to rule on Pistorius appeal

10 Dec 2014, 02:06 IST
Pistorius’ fate depends on judge

A South African judge will rule Tuesday on whether to grant a state appeal that would open the way for para-athlete Oscar Pistorius to serve more time behind bars for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecution lawyers applied for an appeal after Judge Thokozile Masipa in October sentenced the Paralympic gold medallist to five years in jail after a trial that attracted worldwide interest, reports Xinhua.

Pistorius, a South African athletics superstar after the double amputee competed against able-bodied runners in the Olympics, admited shooting Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day 2013. He told the court he thought she was an intruder.

The judge found him guilty of culpable homicide, also known as manslaughter, rather than a more serious charge of murdering Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued in appeal papers filed last month that Masipa misinterpreted the law when she ruled Pistorius did not intentionally shoot Steenkamp, describing the sentence as "shockingly light" and "inappropriate".

The hearing is expected to take two hours. Should Masipa grant the appeal, the case will be heard in South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, the country's judicial capital.

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