Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder

Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder

South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder after an appeals court overturned a verdict of culpable homicide – ruling an inferior court misapplied the doctrine dolus eventualis.

Mr Pistorius murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after he shot her four times through a toilet door.

He was put under house arrest after serving a year of a five-year sentence but will now be sentenced after the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein found him guilty of murder.

The minimum jail term for murder in South Africa is 15 years but judges have some discretion.

Justice Lorimer Leach read the ruling reached by a panel of five judges which provided Mr Pistorius must have foreseen that the person behind the door would die when he shot it with a high-calibre gun.

The athlete has maintained that he thought there was an intruder in his house but the judge said identity was irrelevant, comparing it to detonating a bomb in a public place – a situation in which the victims would be unforeseeable.

He can appeal to the constitutional court so long as his lawyers can argue the judgment violates his constitutional rights, although this is thought to be unlikely.


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