Oscar Pistorius case: Judge Masipa allows appeal

Oscar Pistorius case Judge Masipa allows appeal

A South African judge has ruled that prosecutors can appeal against the acquittal on murder charges of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

The double amputee was jailed for five years in October for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said prosecutors could appeal against the acquittal, but not the five-year sentence given for the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Pistorius’ lawyers had opposed the appeal request.

The case will now go before South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal.

‘Public interest irrelevant’

The athlete’s father Henke Pistorius said it “should not have gone this far”, AFP news agency reports.

“Oscar is strong, he has to be strong, he grew up like that. There’s lots of things in life, especially for a man like him that is… not fair,” he is quoted as saying.

Prosecutors argued that Judge Masipa misinterpreted the law when she cleared Pistorius of murder on the basis that he did not intentionally shoot Ms Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius was not in court on Wednesday
 His father said the athlete was “strong” in prison

Judge Masipa granted the appeal in the ruling in a Pretoria court on Wednesday.

“I cannot say… that the prospect of success at the Supreme Court of Appeal is remote,” she said.

However, Judge Masipa dismissed the prosecution’s argument that the sentence should be reviewed because Ms Steenkamp’s parents had been extremely dissatisfied with it.

She also said the public interest in the case was “irrelevant” and she had ruled only on the basis of the prosecutors’ case.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30408424

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