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Supreme Court verdict: Oscar Pistorius guilty in Steenkamp murder case


South Africa’s top appeals court ruled on Thursday that paralympian Oscar Pistorius’ conviction be scaled up to murder from culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, reported BBC.

Last year a judge gave Pistorius a five-year jail sentence for “culpable homicide” of Steenkamp, but prosecutors argued that the “Blade Runner” should be convicted of murder.

Earlier, Pistorius, 29, was convicted of manslaughter, or culpable homicide, for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home early on Valentine’s Day 2013. Prosecutors said Pistorius shot Steenkamp during an argument, while the defense said Pistorius killed Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

The former track star was put under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in a Pretoria suburb on Oct. 19 after serving one year of a five-year prison sentence, in line with the guidelines of South Africa’s correctional services department.

On November 3, prosecutors argued at the Supreme Court of Appeal, which is in Bloemfontein city, that the judge at Pistorius’ murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria made errors when she acquitted him of murder. The runner should have known that someone could be killed when he fired four times through the door of a toilet cubicle, according to the prosecution.

Under the concept of “dolus eventualis’ in South African law, a person can be convicted of murder if they foresaw the possibility of someone dying through their actions and went ahead anyway.

Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion, became one of the world’s most famous athletes and the first amputee to run at the Olympics and the able-bodied world championships. He was known as “Blade Runner’ for his carbon-fiber running blades.

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