Crime & Courts, Murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius back in court

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It is being reported on November 3, 2015 that the Oscar Pistorius appeals trial began in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  Pistorius was found guilty of manslaughter or culpable homicide in October 2014.  He was sentenced to five years and released into house arrest last month after 12 months in prison.

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of fatally shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, by firing four times as she hid in the bathroom.  Pistorius claims that he believed it was an intruder in his bathroom.

The prosecution appealed this manslaughter decision resulting in today’s court appearance where they seek to prove that Pistorius should be convicted of the stronger charge of murder which would give him a much more lengthy sentence of 15 years in prison. “Under the concept of dolus eventualis in South African law, a person can be convicted of murder if they foresaw the possibility of someone dying through their actions and went ahead anyway.”

Today’s trial was televised and lasted for three hours with the judge’s appearing to agree with the prosecution that Pistorius knew that his actions, shooting into a small bathroom cubicle four times would result in fatal harm to the person behind the door.

Pistorius did not attend the hearing as he is not legally required to appear in court.  Reeva Steenkamp’s mother did attend.  No date was given for when the final judgement would be handed down.  “Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux was overheard saying at the end of the hearing. ‘I’m going to lose’, he is reported to have said in a conversation with Mr Nel while their microphones were still open.”

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