Monday, October 15The Voice of London

Oscar Pistorius Convicted Of Murder

The South African appeals court has found Oscar Pistorius guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Words: Isabella Ellis,  Subeditor: Mariya Savova

epa04984620 (FILE) A file picture dated 17 October 2014 shows South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius was released under house arrest on late 19 October 2015 after serving one year in prison for shooting dead his girlfriend, a spokesman for South Africa's prisons department said. He will be staying at his uncle's home in the upmarket suburb of Waterkloof in the south of Pretoria, media reported. The Paralympian athlete was due to be released on 20 October 2015, but the management of Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria said the athlete was placed under house arrest 'in the interests of all concerned.' Pistorius fired four shots at Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013. She died at the scene. He claimed he thought she was a burglar. He was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced on 21 October 2014, after a trial that last lasted more than seven months and attracted worldwide attention. On 03 November 2015, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeals will hear arguments from the State on whether the verdict against Pistorius, 28, should be changed from culpable homicide to murder. If the supreme court of appeal rules in their favor, Pistorius could be sent back to his cell at Kgosi Mampuru II prison for a minimum of 15 years. EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND (MaxPPP TagID: epalive871221.jpg) [Photo via MaxPPP]
Oscar Pistorius will likely return to prison soon, just weeks after he was released. Image Credit: MaxPPP
The Olympian killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, after firing four shots through a locked toilet door in his apartment.

Pistorius later said he believed that she was an intruder and was found guilty of culpable homicide.  This verdict has now been overturned, as Justice Eric Leach said the original trial had been “fundamentally flawed.’’

The 29-year-old broke records in 2012 after becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.

The judges concluded that Pistorius’s reasons for shooting were implausible and that his claim that he did so in self-defence was irrational.

South African law specifies that for an individual to legally open fire on someone, they must have first determined that there is a real threat to their life. In the case of Pistorius, Leach said that there was no evidence the person behind the toilet door posed a threat.

Pistorius served one year of his original five-year sentence behind bars but was released under house arrest in October. No date has yet been set for the retrial but the minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years in prison.

Reeva Steenkamp’s father told South African television channel, ANN7: “It’s a big relief. I feel it’s a fair decision that the judge gave.”

The prosecution was led by Gerrie Nel, who argued that the initial ruling by Judge Masipa had misinterpreted the law of dolus eventualis (murder with intent). However, the Court said that the decision didn’t impact her credibility or expertise.

Many took to social media to praise the decision and the hashtag #JusticeForReeva was shared widely.