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Prosecutors still weighing appeal of Pistorius verdict

Published on 21/10/2014

South African prosecutors on Tuesday welcomed Oscar Pistorius's sentence to up to five years in jail, but said they were still weighing whether or not to appeal his conviction on charges of culpable homicide.

The state had pressed for Pistorius to be charged with a more serious charge of premeditated murder for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

But judge Thokozile Masipa, who opted for a conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, said the prosecutors had not convinced the court.

“We were disappointed with the conviction of culpable homicide,” said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Mncube.

“We have not made up our minds whether we are going to appeal or not,” said Mncube.

“We have 14 days to consider the law and we will (need to) be sure that the facts and law will allow us to appeal,” he said.

Mncube said that he believes that South Africa will be satisfied with judge Masipa’s sentencing.

A member of Pistorius’s legal team, Roxanne Adams, said it had no comment on whether or not it would appeal.

Adams said that with this sentence, Pistorius would likely see “about 10 months” of the five-year term, before being transferred to house arrest.

Pistorius’s older brother Carl pushed reporters out of the way with a forceful sweep of his arm to escort Adams out of the courtroom.