South Africa top court throws out final Pistorius appeal bid

Oscar Pistorius, gestures, at the end of the fourth day of sentencing proceedings in the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Following the testimony hearing, which is expected to end this week, Judge Thokozile Masipa will rule on what punishment Pistorius must serve after convicting him of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.(AP Photo/Alon Skuy, Pool)

Oscar Pistorius, gestures, at the end of the fourth day of sentencing proceedings in the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Following the testimony hearing, which is expected to end this week, Judge Thokozile Masipa will rule on what punishment Pistorius must serve after convicting him of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.(AP Photo/Alon Skuy, Pool)

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has rejected Oscar Pistorius’s last-ditch attempt to appeal against his murder conviction for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, an official said Thursday.

The Paralympic champion has been on bail awaiting a new sentence since December, when the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found him guilty of murder.

The SCA overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Pistorius’s lawyers had applied for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa, arguing that the SCA had “acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally”.

But the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which opposed the application, said on Thursday that the appeal attempt had failed.

“The court dismissed the application for leave to appeal because there are are no prospects of success,” NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP.

Mfaku said the court’s decision had been made on Wednesday.

Pistorius, 29, could face at least 15 years in jail when he attends a sentencing hearing on April 18.

The double-amputee killed Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day three years ago, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.



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