Prosecutors to Appeal Pistorius Verdict, Sentence

Athlete began serving 5-year sentence Oct. 21
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2014 8:12 AM CDT
Oscar Pistorius, center, greets his uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, and other family members as he is led down to the cells of the court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Oct. 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/Herman Verwey, Pool)

(Newser) – South African prosecutors say they will appeal Oscar Pistorius' verdict and five-year sentence. Prosecution spokesman Nathi Mncube said today that the next step is to file papers in court, which will happen in the next few days. The decision by South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority could see Pistorius face a murder conviction again for shooting Reeva Steenkamp and, if found guilty on the appeal, a minimum of 15 years in prison.

The NPA said in a statement its decision to appeal was based on a "question of law," meaning it believes that Judge Thokozile Masipa misapplied the law when she acquitted Pistorius of murder. Prosecutors must apply initially to Masipa for permission to appeal within 14 days of Pistorius' Oct. 21 sentencing. If Masipa grants them permission, Pistorius' case would be reviewed by a panel of three or five judges in the Supreme Court of Appeal, per a legal expert. Prosecutors can directly petition the SCA if Masipa denies their appeal. (In a new book, Steenkamp's mom says Pistorius never had sex with her daughter.)

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