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South African judge approves Oscar Pistorius appeal

By The Citizen
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A South African judge on Wednesday allowed prosecutors to appeal to seek a murder verdict against Oscar Pistorius, who was found guilty on a lesser charge of culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend.

Prosecutors welcomed the decision.
'Our argument was that he should have been convicted of murder, and then would have been sentenced to a minimum sentence of 15 years. That is of course what we would like to happen,' said the National Prosecuting Authority's Nathi Ncube.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said: 'I cannot say … that the prospect of success at the Supreme Court of Appeal is remote.

'I am also of the view … this might have a practical effect. The application therefore … is decided in favour of the applicant.'

But she refused leave to appeal against the five-year sentence for culpable homicide imposed on the Paralympic sprinter.

'The application for leave to appeal against the sentence is dismissed.'

Pistorius said he shot Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day 2013 in the belief she was an intruder.

Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide, also known as manslaughter, and sentenced him to five years in jail, meaning that the 28-year-old could end up spending only 10 months of his jail term at Pretoria's central prison. -Agency report.