South Africa’s Constitutional Court has dismissed Oscar Pistorius’ appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Following this ruling, Oscar Pistorius will be sentenced in April.
Oscar Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.
A manslaughter verdict was overturned in December and a murder verdict introduced in its place.
Photo Getty Images
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the Constitutional Court found “no prospect of success” in Oscar Pistorius’ appeal.
The case will now go back to Judge Thokozile Masipa – who cleared the athlete of murder in the original case – for sentencing on April 18.
Prosecutors are believed to be targeting a sentence of at least 15 years in jail for Oscar Pistorius.
The double-amputee athlete is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail.
In December, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court under Judge Thokozile Masipa had not applied correctly the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Oscar Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.
Justice Eric Leach said that having armed himself with a high-caliber weapon, Oscar Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.
Oscar Pistorius has always maintained he believed he was shooting at an intruder.
Prosecutors have started an appeal hearing on whether Oscar Pistorius should be convicted of murder instead of culpable homicide.
Oscar Pistorius, 28, was released from prison last month after serving one year of his five-year term for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The Paralympic champion shot Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in 2013 but insists he thought she was an intruder.
Oscar Pistorius could be sent back to jail if appeal judges overturn the original verdict.
He is currently under house arrest, and is not attending the hearing at South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
The proceedings are being broadcast live on TV.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has been outlining the state’s case for the verdict to be changed to murder from culpable homicide, or manslaughter.
The prosecution says that Judge Thokozile Masipa incorrectly applied the law of murder. It argues that Oscar Pistorius should have foreseen the result of his actions, namely that shooting four times through a closed bathroom door would result in a person’s death.
Oscar Pistorius said he believed there was an intruder in the house and thought Reeva Steenkamp was in the bedroom.
The prosecution will argue that who was behind the bathroom door is irrelevant, and Oscar Pistorius’ intent was to kill.
The final ruling will not be known for some weeks, reports say.
Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his 29-year-old girlfriend at a trial in October 2014.
Reeva Steenkamp’s relatives have said they think Oscar Pistorius is “getting off lightly”.
The double amputee was released from prison on October 19. Under South African law, Oscar Pistorius was eligible for release under “correctional supervision”, having served a sixth of his sentence.
Oscar Pistorius’ family said he would “strictly” adhere to his parole conditions at his uncle’s upmarket home in Pretoria.
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