Pistorius lawyers to oppose appeal of 'shockingly light' ruling

7th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Lawyers for South Africa's disgraced athlete Oscar Pistorius said Friday they will oppose the state's bid to appeal his five-year manslaughter sentence for killing his girlfriend in February 2013.

Brian Webber said they have filed papers at the High Court in the capital Pretoria stating their "intention to oppose the leave for appeal".

He refused to divulge the reasons for the appeal saying they would be released "in due course.

"On Tuesday, prosecutors lodged court papers pressing for a murder conviction and a harsher sentence for the Olympic and Paralympic star, calling his punishment "shockingly light" and "inappropriate".

The defence's action signals the beginning of a second round of a drawn-out legal battle with the state.

The 27-year-old double amputee was two weeks ago handed the five-year sentence by Judge Thokozile Masipa, after a sensational trial which lasted over seven months.

The athlete shot dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day of 2013.

He claimed he mistook her for an intruder.

The judge found there was not enough evidence to convict him of premeditated murder, jailing him for five years, but the athlete could serve just one-sixth of that sentence in prison.

The prosecutors said in their papers the judge "erred in over-emphasising the personal circumstances" of the athlete and the fact he was "anxious and 'seems remorseful'" during the trial.

Pistorius is currently serving his sentence in the hospital section of Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria.


© 2014 AFP

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