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Oscar Pistorius trial: Lawyers launch legal bid to prevent prosecutors appeal


Oscar Pistorius’ lawyers have launched a legal bid to prevent prosecutors from appealing against his acquittal on murder charges.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled in December that prosecutors could appeal against the acquittal.

She had sentenced the South African athlete to five years in prison for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter.

Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

He said he mistook her for a burglar, while prosecutors argued that he shot her after a row at his upmarket home in the capital, Pretoria.Oscar Pistorius trial 2015

The double amputee athlete was acquitted by Judge Thokozile Masipa of both premeditated murder and the lesser murder charge of dolus eventualis, also known as common-law murder.

In South African law, this charge applies if the accused knew they might kill someone but still went ahead with their course of action.

Prosecutors argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa misinterpreted the law when she cleared Pistorius of murder on the basis that he did not intentionally shoot Reeva Steenkamp.

Giving them permission to appeal in December, the judge said: “I cannot say… that the prospect of success at the Supreme Court of Appeal is remote.”

On March 13, Oscar Pistorius’ lawyers will appear before Judge Thokozile Masipa and intend to cite previous cases to back their argument that the appeal should not be allowed.