Oscar Pistorius loses appeal challenge at Johannesburg High Court
Oscar Pistorius’ defense team has failed to block an appeal by prosecutors against his acquittal on murder charges.
The South African Paralympian was cleared of murder in 2014 but was sentenced to 5 years in jail for the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Prosecutors are seeking a murder conviction after Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
On March 13, the Johannesburg High Court rejected the application by Oscar Pistorius’ defense team to stop the prosecutors’ appeal.
After a short hearing, Judge Thokozile Masipa said procedure did not allow her to grant or refuse the application.
“In my view, to entertain this application will be tantamount to reviewing my own decision,” she said.
“For one thing there is really nothing new in the submissions by counsel for the applicant.”
The double amputee athlete was acquitted by Judge Thokozile Masipa of both premeditated murder and the lesser murder charge of dolus eventualis, also known as common-law murder in September last year.
In South African law, this charge applies if the accused knew they might kill someone but still went ahead with their course of action.
Oscar Pistorius says he shot Reeva Steenkamp accidentally, after mistaking her for a burglar.
Prosecutors are pushing for the appeal because they believe that a full bench of judges in the Supreme Court of Appeal will agree with them that Judge Thokozile Masipa misinterpreted the principles of dolus eventualis and will both convict him of murder and impose a longer sentence.
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