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South African prosecutors bid to extend Pistorius sentence

PHOTO:AFP

PHOTO:AFP

Prosecutors in South Africa said Thursday they would launch a new legal push for a tougher sentence for Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, who was jailed for six years for murdering his girlfriend.

The National Prosecution Authority said it will file papers on Friday to seek permission to appeal against the term handed down by a High Court in July.

“I have been advised by the prosecutors that they are filing their papers tomorrow petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal,” NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP.

He did not give details of the grounds for the appeal.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel last month argued in court that the six-year sentence — less than half the minimum 15-year sentence for murder in South Africa — was “shockingly lenient”.

The prosecution is directly petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal following last month’s rejection by the High Court of their application for permission to appeal.

Pistorius, 29, shot Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

He was originally convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, in 2014.

But an appeals court upgraded his conviction to murder in December last year.



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