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State appeal on Pistorius conviction set for November 3

The South African state’s appeal to have Oscar Pistorius convicted of murder instead of culpable homicide will be heard on November 3, officials said Tuesday, as the Paralympian waits to be released on parole.

Last year Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled Pistorius was not guilty of murder for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Instead Masipa found the 28-year-old athlete guilty of culpable homicide — also known as manslaughter — and sentenced him to five years behind bars.

State prosecutors appealed against the verdict, arguing that Masipa misinterpreted the law when she ruled Pistorius did not intentionally kill Steenkamp when he shot her four times through a locked toilet door.

“I can confirm that the Oscar Pistorius hearing is scheduled for November 3,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP.

Pistorius was due to be allowed out of jail on parole in August, but South Africa’s justice minister made a last-minute intervention blocking his release.

A parole review board will meet next week to rule on whether he should be released under house arrest — a routine procedure for an inmate convicted of culpable homicide.

If he is found guilty of murder, he would face a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Pistorius, once a poster boy for Paralympic sport, has been stripped of his lucrative sponsorship contracts and has not raced professionally since the shooting in 2013.