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Author Topic: Oscar Pistorius, is accused of shooting his girlfriend to death.  (Read 43398 times)
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« Reply #180 on: October 21, 2014, 09:44:01 AM »

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/oscar-pistorius-sentence-valentine-day-shooting-death-girlfriend-article-1.1981426
Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years – but may get out in just 10 months – for shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp
Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down prison time to fallen South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday in the 2013 death of 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide after he fired four shots through the bathroom door at Steenkamp, killing her.
October 21, 2014

A judge sentenced the South African sprinter to five years in prison Tuesday for gunning down his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013.

In doing so, Judge Thokozile Masipa ignored pleas for mercy from the fallen Olympian’s lawyer who said Pistorius — a double-amputee who uses prosthetics to walk and run — would be preyed on by prison rapists and targeted for murder by gangbangers.

Pistorius was neatly dressed in a black suit and tie, sitting motionless as he listened to the verdict after Masipa spoke for 65 minutes.

Being asked to stand, he did not flinch as the judge handed down the sentence.

On the second firearms count, Pistorius received a three-year suspended sentence.He has also been declared unfit to possess a firearm, Masipa said.

According to the sentence, Pistorius could be out in 10 months.

He needs to serve a sixth of his sentence to be considered for parole — his sentence can be then changed to correctional supervision.

More...
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« Reply #181 on: October 27, 2014, 11:04:01 PM »

http://www.smh.com.au/world/oscar-pistorius-case-prosecutors-to-appeal-verdict-and-sentence-20141028-11cpcx.html
Oscar Pistorius case: Prosecutors to appeal verdict and sentence
October 28, 2014

Pretoria: South African state prosecutors say they will appeal a culpable homicide verdict and five-year jail term handed down to fallen track star Oscar Pistorius.

"NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) will be appealing both the conviction and sentence," spokesman Nathi Mncube said on Monday.
Pistorius began a five-year prison stretch on October 21 after being found guilty of culpable homicide, but not guilty of a more serious charge of murder.

The state had sought to prove that Pistorius deliberately shot his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, dead on Valentine's Day last year.

But trial judge Thokozile Masipa found there was not enough evidence to convict the 27-year-old of premeditated murder.

Details of the appeal have not yet released, but South African criminal lawyers have expressed shock that Masipa found Pistorius could not have foreseen that someone would die when he fired the shots.

Legal experts complained that it could open the door to systematic abuse of the legal system, or to people believing it would be okay to shoot in an irresponsible manne
 
South Africans had also criticised Masipa's five-year sentence as too lenient after it emerged Pistorius may be eligible for parole in less than a year.
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« Reply #182 on: October 27, 2014, 11:06:26 PM »

Although I believe Oscar Pistorius got off lightly for what he did, he got more punishment than I thought they would give. 
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« Reply #183 on: October 29, 2014, 10:55:10 PM »

Although I believe Oscar Pistorius got off lightly for what he did, he got more punishment than I thought they would give. 

I thought that he would get a longer prison term, but I guess I don't understand their legal system.

Thank you for all of the updates...great job!  Rest and relax...
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« Reply #184 on: October 30, 2014, 07:19:01 PM »

Although I believe Oscar Pistorius got off lightly for what he did, he got more punishment than I thought they would give. 

I thought that he would get a longer prison term, but I guess I don't understand their legal system.

Thank you for all of the updates...great job!  Rest and relax...


Thank you grace-land.   

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« Reply #185 on: December 10, 2014, 08:28:27 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/11/world/africa/oscar-pistorius-south-africa-ruling-appeal.html
Oscar Pistorius Acquittal Can Be Appealed, South African Judge Says
December 10, 2014

LONDON — A South African judge ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors may appeal her decision to acquit Oscar Pistorius, the track star, on murder charges in the killing of his girlfriend last year.

But, in a complex ruling, Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa rejected efforts by state prosecutors to appeal the five-year sentence she passed on him.

The prosecution had called the sentence “shockingly inappropriate” to the crime, since Mr. Pistorius could be released on house arrest after 10 months in the hospital wing of a prison in Pretoria, the South African capital.

In September, Judge Masipa acquitted Mr. Pistorius of murder but found him guilty of culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, for firing four rounds from a handgun through a locked toilet cubicle door, killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on the other side.

The judge’s ruling on Wednesday hinged on a distinction in South African law between culpable homicide and a form of murder when a defendant is accused of knowing that his or her actions may cause death.

On Tuesday, the state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, argued that Mr. Pistorius must have understood the likely outcome of opening fire and that he had therefore committed a form of murder regarded as a more serious crime than culpable homicide but a lesser offense than premeditated murder, which carries a 25-year minimum sentence.

In a ruling streamed live on South African news websites from the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Judge Masipa said the issue was “not an easy one.”

On the sentence, she said she was “not persuaded that there was any material misdirection” when she sent Mr. Pistorius to prison for what some legal experts said seemed to be a relatively lenient sentence.

But on the grounds for her verdict, she said the Supreme Court of Appeal should consider whether a principle known as dolus eventualis — the grounds for a form of murder — had been “correctly applied.”

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

Her ruling represented a victory for South African prosecutors who had suffered setbacks in two high-profile trials: the Pistorius case and the acquittal on Monday of Shrien Dewani, a British businessman accused of arranging for the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

Mr. Dewani returned to Britain from South Africa on Wednesday.

In the Pistorius case, it was not immediately clear when the appeal would be heard.

“Our argument was that he should have been convicted of murder, and then would have been sentenced to a minimum sentence of 15 years,” said Nathi Mncube, the spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority.
 
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« Reply #186 on: December 10, 2014, 08:45:30 PM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/oscar-pistorius-could-yet-be-convicted-of-murder-9916480.html
Oscar Pistorius could yet be convicted of murder
October 10, 2014

Oscar Pistorius could have his conviction upgraded from culpable homicide to murder and face a possible 15-year prison sentence, after an appeal application made by state prosecutors was granted.

It means the case, ongoing for almost 10 months, will reopen in South Africa’s court of appeal in Bloemfontein, and be heard by a panel of five new judges.

Granting the application, Judge Thokozile Masipa, who heard the original case, said the appeal made by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel showed that the law applied to the case could be open to a different interpretation. “I cannot say … that the prospect of success at the supreme court of appeal is remote,” Judge Masipa ruled at the High Court in Pretoria. “The application, therefore, in respect of count one is decided in favour of the applicant.”

Oscar Pistorius himself was not present to hear the application. He remains in prison in Pretoria, and will do so for at least another eight months, at which point he will become eligible for parole. South Africa’s Supreme Court will not be asked to decide whether the athlete knew his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was behind the bathroom door when he fired four shots through it in the early hours of Valentine’s Day morning last year.

By his own admission, Pistorius believed an intruder was behind the door, and the case will hinge on whether the athlete foresaw that his actions would kill that person. In her sentencing, Judge Masipa decided that while he should have foreseen this, he didn’t. If the Supreme Court decides otherwise, he could be convicted of second-degree murder, on the principle of dolus eventualis, the Latin term that has hovered over this incredibly protracted trial.

Judge Masipa rejected the prosecution’s application also to appeal the sentence she laid down, of five years, which Mr Nel called “shockingly inappropriate”. But in practice, once the matter is in the hands of the Supreme Court, it can decide to overturn this in any case. Reeva Steenkamp’s parents had previously said they were satisfied with the verdict and sentence handed down to Pistorius. The family’s lawyer, Dup de Bruyn, said: “All they’re saying is justice must run its course and they want to get on with their lives.”
Typically, cases take more than a year to appear before the Supreme Court, by which point Pistorius is likely to be out of prison and serving the rest of his sentence under house arrest. He would be unlikely to attend the trial, which would in the most part be a matter of arguing over whether the law had been correctly applied rather than hearing new evidence.

It is a victory for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which has been humiliated both by the Pistorius case and by the acquittal of Shrien Dewani, after seeking his extradition for the supposed contract killing of his wife.

Nathi Mncube, the NPA’s spokesman said: “Our argument was that [Pistorius]  should have been convicted of murder, and then would have been sentenced to a minimum of 15 years.”

There is a slide show of photos of the weapon and the crime scene.  Caution:  there is blood.   
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« Reply #187 on: May 12, 2015, 08:51:20 PM »

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Pistorius-could-be-a-free-man-as-soon-as-August-20150511
Pistorius could be a free man as soon as August
May 11, 2015

Pretoria - Culpable homicide convict Oscar Pistorius could be free from jail in as little as three months’ time and is keen to work with children upon his release.

Pistorius's lawyer, Rohan Kruger, told the UK Sunday Times newspaper that the athlete spends about 23 hours of his day in an isolation wing and spends most of his time reading the Bible and praying in his cell.

Pistorius is being kept in the hospital wing of the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria.

He was sentenced to five years in jail for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Pistorius claimed he thought she was an intruder.

Kruger told the Sunday Times that Pistorius was "destroyed" and is still “in bits and in shock” about Steenkamp’s death. He said in "no way has [Pistorius] come to terms with what has happened to him”.

The lawyer said the athlete is keen to work with children in “whatever opportunity will present” itself.

 

Pistorius could yet face a murder conviction after the State was granted leave to appeal his culpable homicide conviction, Sapa reported in March.

A date has not yet been set for the Supreme Court of Appeal hearing.
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« Reply #188 on: May 12, 2015, 08:54:06 PM »

http://citizen.co.za/380401/keep-oscar-pistorius-in-jail-reevas-mom/
Keep Oscar Pistorius in jail – Reeva’s mom
May 12, 2015


Although jailed Paralympian Oscar Pistorius becomes eligible for correctional supervision in August, after which he may be placed under house arrest, June Steenkamp believes he should not be let back into society so quickly after killing her daughter, Reeva.
Steenkamp told The Citizen although she had forgiven Pistorius and did not want him to suffer, a mere 10 months behind bars was not enough for taking Reeva’s life.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to let him back in society so quickly,” said Steenkamp.
“He shot my daughter through that door where she had no space to move or defend herself. One of the bullets blew her brains out, it is disgusting what he did to her … 10 months is just not enough.”
Steenkamp said she would oppose the possibility of the remainder of the “Blade Runner’s” sentence being converted to correctional supervision, saying he ultimately had to pay for what he had done.
Steenkamp questioned the message that would be sent if Pistorius served only 10 months. She highlighted the recent killing of Port Elizabeth teacher Jayde Panayiotou, who was allegedly murdered at her husband’s request, and said domestic violence of this nature “was everywhere”.
“Justice must be done, otherwise there will be chaos.”
She said the Correctional Services has yet to approach her about the probable release of Pistorius.
Meanwhile, the paralympian’s lawyer Rohan Kruger told The Citizen that while Pistorius was struggling with prison life, he has been spending much of his time reading the bible and thinking of what he will do when released.
“He is figuring out what his next move is … what he is going to do with his life,” said Kruger.
According to Kruger, the Blade Runner is keen to do charity work, specifically working with children. As to how Pistorius is planning to earn an income, Kruger could not comment, however he did confirm that Pistorius was flat broke after the high costs of his trial.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said in terms of the law, a person that has been sentenced to incarceration under the section 276 (1) (i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1997 must serve at least one sixth of their sentence before being considered for placement under correctional supervision.
“This, however, does not mean that an offender will automatically be placed under correctional supervision as various factors will be considered by the CSPB (Correctional Supervision and Parole Board),” said Wolela.
The various factors taken into account for consideration for placement on parole or correctional supervision include input from victims and families where applicable, type of offences committed, offender’s behaviour while incarcerated and involvement in development programmes, where possible.
Wolela emphasised that parole is not a right, but a privilege that is provided to offenders subject to specific conditions an offender must comply with. He added that it does not reduce the sentence imposed by the courts, but only affects the way in which a sentence will be served.
The Blade Runner was jailed for five years in October 2014 after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Judge Thokozile Masipa acquitted Pistorius of murder but found him guilty of culpable homicide as well as negligent discharging of a firearm in Tasha’s restaurant in Sandton in 2013.
As Pistorius looks to the future, the State is still awaiting a date to appeal the culpable homicide conviction in favour of the murder conviction, which if successful could see Pistorius sentenced to a minimum of 15 years behind bars. Masipa granted the state’s leave to appeal in December last year.
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« Reply #189 on: June 08, 2015, 09:15:38 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/08/oscar-pistorius-case-prosecution-appeal-against-acquittal-on-murder-set-for/
Oscar Pistorius may be paroled in August, as appeal set for November
June 8, 2015



South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius may be released from prison on parole in August after serving only 10 months for culpable homicide in the killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"Oscar will be released on parole by the end of August," a Pistorius family member who asked not to be identified told Reuters Monday. Pistorius started his five year sentence in October last year.     

South African prison officials have recommended Pistorius be released from prison on Aug. 21 to go under house arrest. Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise says that a prison committee recommended Pistorius be released from the prison in Pretoria after serving one sixth of his five-year sentence. A decision by the parole board is pending.

Modise said the committee made the recommendation on the basis of the double-amputee Olympic athlete's good behavior in the jail in the South African capital, Pretoria.

Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said the conditions of Pistorius' house arrest won't be made public.

Pistorius was acquitted of murder last year for killing Steenkamp in 2013 by shooting her multiple times through a closed toilet door in his Pretoria home. The runner claimed he mistook Steenkamp for a nighttime intruder.

Meanwhile, Pistorius' case will go in front of South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal in November, the court said Monday, when prosecutors will challenge the decision to acquit him of murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius would again face the possibility of a murder conviction and a minimum of 15 years in prison if a panel of judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal overturns the original decision in his murder trial.

The court has not yet set an exact date for the appeal, court registrar Paul Myburgh told The Associated Press, but it will be in November. That will be three months after Pistorius is eligible for release from prison to serve the remainder of his current sentence, under house arrest.

Prosecutors appealed the decision by trial Judge Thokozile Masipa, saying the double-amputee Olympic athlete should have been found guilty of murder. In December, Masipa granted prosecutors permission to appeal her finding at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
 

Some of the details of the appeal hearing have been ironed out: Prosecutors must submit their court papers outlining their argument by Aug. 17. Pistorius' defense team must submit its response by Sept. 17, Myburgh said.
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« Reply #190 on: August 17, 2015, 11:51:32 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/08/17/world/africa/ap-af-pistorius.html
Pistorius Prosecutors File Appeal at Supreme Court
August 17, 2015

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« Reply #191 on: August 17, 2015, 02:59:17 PM »

http://time.com/4000406/oscar-pistorius-mansion-arrest-prison/
Oscar Pistorius Set for ‘Mansion Arrest’ After Prison Time
August 17, 2015

 
Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic gold medalist who was convicted last year of killing his girlfriend, will serve the rest of his 5-year prison sentence under house arrest in a mansion beginning Friday.

The 29-year-old champion has served 10 months in prison for killing his law graduate and model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, and will on Friday begin to wear an electronic tracking tag and live outside prison, Reuters reports.

Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby and who was nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his prowess on the track with carbon-fiber prosthetics, will live in a manor featuring more than a dozen bedrooms, a private gym, an outdoor swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The grandiose home belongs to Pistorius’ uncle.

“It’s more like mansion arrest,” Christopher, 31, a security guard who works near the house Pistorius will stay, told Reuters.

South African sentencing guidelines rule non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a prison sentence behind bars.

Pistorius has admitted to killing his girlfriend, who was behind the locked door of a bathroom, in what he said was the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it.

Prosecutors are hoping to overturn the verdict and lengthen the sentence to a murder charge, arguing Pistorius would have known the person behind the door could be killed when he fired.
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« Reply #192 on: August 19, 2015, 10:52:41 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/08/19/oscar-pistorius-release-put-on-hold-by-sa-justice-department-to-be-reviewed/
Oscar Pistorius release put on hold by South African justice department
August 19, 2015

JOHANNESBURG –  South Africa's Department of Justice says it is putting Oscar Pistorius' release from prison on hold until his case is reviewed again by a parole board.

Department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga says Pistorius' release will have to be reviewed again because he was approved to be moved to house arrest too early.

Mthunzi says Pistorius should have served 10 months of his sentence before being considered for release. He was approved for parole in June, eight months into his sentence.


Pistorius was due to be moved to house arrest on Friday after serving 10 months of his five-year sentence for manslaughter for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
 
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« Reply #193 on: August 19, 2015, 11:05:37 AM »

wow!  it will take me awhile to understand the judicial system.
It just seems odd that prosecutors can appeal a sentence.

 
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« Reply #194 on: October 15, 2015, 12:45:54 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/10/15/pistorius-reportedly-to-be-released-from-prison/
Pistorius to be released from prison, moved to house arrest in days
October 15, 2015

A parole board decided Thursday to release "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius from prison, deciding that the convicted killer can be moved to house arrest on Oct. 20.

The decision comes a year after he was found guilty of culpable homicide, South Africa's equivalent to manslaughter, for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was a model and law graduate.

Pistorius will be moved to correctional supervision, a form of house arrest where he will have to live under certain conditions, at his uncle’s mansion.

Full details of the conditions were not detailed by the corrections department, although it did say that Pistorius would have to continue receiving psychotherapy while under house arrest and would not be allowed to possess a firearm. Correctional services department spokesman Manelisi Wolela said Pistorius would not be required to wear an electronic tagging device.

Pistorius has been informed of those conditions, the corrections department said.

The spokeswoman for Pistorius' family, Anneliese Burgess, said in a text message to the Associated Press that they had been informed of the decision to release Pistorius but would not be commenting further.

Steenkamp's father, Barry Steenkamp, told The AP last week that he wanted the delays and uncertainty around Pistorius' release to end.

"I'm sure a lot of people have had enough of the whole scenario. That's all I can say. Let justice take its course," he said.

A South African judge sentenced Pistorius, 28, to a maximum of five years, of which he's served nearly a year. His sentence ends on Oct. 20, 2019.

The sentence for a culpable homicide conviction is at the judge's discretion, and can range from a suspended sentence and a fine to up to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Under South African law, an offender sentenced to five years or less in jail can be released after serving one-sixth, or in Pistorius' case, 10 months.
 
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« Reply #195 on: October 17, 2015, 09:18:27 AM »

Thanks for the update

 
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« Reply #196 on: October 19, 2015, 07:13:30 PM »

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34577735
Oscar Pistorius released from prison under house arrest
October 19, 2015


South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been released under house arrest nearly one year after he was jailed for killing his girlfriend, prison officials say.
He is expected to spend the remainder of a five-year prison sentence at his uncle's home in Pretoria.
Pistorius, 28, shot Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door but said he thought she was an intruder.
Ms Steenkamp's relatives say they think Pistorius is "getting off lightly".
Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, in October last year.
A case lodged by the prosecution appealing that decision is due to be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 3 November. State prosecutors say Pistorius should have instead been convicted of murder.
The athlete was released on Monday evening, a day earlier than expected, according to a spokesman from the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, where Pistorius was being held.
"Oscar Pistorius was placed under correctional supervision tonight," Manelisi Wolela confirmed in a statement.
"The handling of the actual placement is an operational matter of the local management, and how they handle it is their prerogative that is carried out in the best interest of all parties concerned, the victims, the offender and the Department of Correctional Services," he added.
 

It is understood he will not be electronically tagged but he will have restrictions on his movement, she adds.
His parole conditions include gun ownership restrictions and continued psychotherapy sessions. The disabled sportsman is also expected to do a period of community service.
South Africa's justice minister blocked an earlier attempt to get the Olympic athlete's release in August in a surprise move.

Speaking earlier to the BBC, Reeva Steenkamp's cousin Kim Martin said the family might consider visiting Pistorius when the time is "right". But she also said she felt he was "getting off lightly".
Her parents have previously said that the time served by Pistorius was "not enough for taking a life".
Under South African law, the double amputee was eligible for release under "correctional supervision" having served a sixth of his sentence.
Meanwhile, a close family friend of the athlete said he was in poor physical shape, adding that his return to athletics would be unlikely.
If the prosecution is successful with its appeal next month, Pistorius could face a lengthy sentence back in prison.
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« Reply #197 on: October 21, 2015, 07:53:19 AM »

He is getting off lightly.
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« Reply #198 on: October 22, 2015, 05:49:48 PM »

He is getting off lightly.

I agree.
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...and Injustice for most


« Reply #199 on: December 03, 2015, 07:44:38 AM »

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34993002

Oscar Pistorius verdict changed to murder


14 minutes ago
 
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder after a South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict.

Pistorious killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting four times through a locked toilet door.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail.

Pistorius will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder.
 ■Pistorius murder conviction: Live updates
 ■Key quotes from the judges' verdict
 
It was earlier incorrectly reported that the court had ruled the manslaughter verdict would remain.




South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis - whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but judges can apply some discretion.

South African law does not make provision for someone to be placed under house arrest for more than five years, so Pistorius will be going back to prison, reports the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What next for Pistorius?
Image copyrightAP
Will he return to jail?

Yes. He will be back behind bars, less than two months after he was placed under house arrest.

When will he be sentenced?

We don't have a date yet, but it will be next year. The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, but the judge does have the discretion to lower it.

Can he appeal?

Yes, but only if his lawyers are convinced that the appeal judges violated his constitutional rights. So it's a high threshold, and hard to meet.

So is this the end of Pistorius' professional athletics career?

Almost certainly. He's 29, and will be past his prime by the time he is freed. It is also unlikely that advertisers would want to sponsor him, as the Pistorius brand is now tainted.

The making and unmaking of Oscar Pistorius

10 key moments from the trial

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pistorius' family gave a brief response, saying lawyers are studying the finding who will advise them on "options going forward".

The panel of appeal judges described the case as "a human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions" in their written judgement.

Reading the unanimous ruling reached by the five judges, Justice Eric Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.


"As a matter of common sense at the time the fatal shots were fired, the possibility of the death of the person behind the door was clearly an obvious result," the judge said.

"And in firing not one but four shots, such a result became even more likely."

Pistorius always maintained that he believed there was an intruder in the house but the judge said that the identity of the person behind the door was "irrelevant to his guilt".

Justice Leach compared it to someone setting off a bomb in a public place not knowing who the victims might be.

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South African reaction: Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Johannesburg

In a packed courtroom with Reeva Steenkamp's family listening to every word, the judge said that when Oscar Pistorius decided to fire four shots through a closed toilet door, he had gambled with a person's life - whoever that was.

Under South African law you cannot just shoot - you first need to determine that the threat to your life is real and that there is no other way to eliminate that threat but to shoot.

Many South Africans have applauded the court's decision on social media, saying justice has now been served for Ms Steenkamp.

This ruling is expected to go some way to show that no-one is above the law, not even South Africa's once beloved "blade runner".

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The judge also rejected the argument that Pistorius had acted in self-defence.

He said that the athlete's life was not in danger at the time of the shooting, as Pistorius did not know who was behind the door or if they posed a threat.

The judge added that Pistorius did "not take that most elementary precaution of firing a warning shot".

Pistorius did not attend the hearing in Bloemfontein.

But Ms Steenkamp's mother, June, was present and afterwards she was seen outside the court being embraced by members of the African National Congress Women's League, who were singing songs of celebration.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption Reeva Steenkamp's mother June (centre) was in court for the ruling Image copyrightAFPImage caption After the ruling Mrs Steenkamp was greeted by members of the women's league of the governing ANC
Our correspondent says that many in South Africa were upset by the original acquittal on murder charges, with women's rights groups arguing he should have been found guilty of murder as a deterrent because of the high number of women who are killed by their partners in the country.

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Pistorius key dates:
 
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