Lawyers for jailed Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius will be back in court next month challenging the state’s right to appeal his sentence for manslaughter and getting a murder sentence.
Pistorius, who’s serving a five-year sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, could be moved to house arrest in August.
In December Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that the state could appeal her verdict of culpable homicide for which jailed Oscar Pistorius and seek to have it upgraded to murder
An appeal can only be granted on a question of law, not on a judge’s factual findings.
Masipa says her verdict’s based on her interpretation of law.
On March 13 in the Johannesburg high court, Pistorius’ defence will contest this.
His lawyer Brian Webber says they’ll argue that these are matters of fact, rather than matters of law and an appeal can only be granted on a question of law, not on a judge’s factual findings.
By lodging the application now, Pistorius’s defence team hope that Masipa will concede that another court could find the verdict was based on fact rather than law. This may prove a crucial legal weapon for them and deprive the state of momentum when the case is heard at the supreme court later this year.
Pistorius killed Steenkamp by shooting four times through a locked toilet door at his luxury home in Pretoria two years ago. He told the court that he mistook her for an intruder.