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Pistorius prosecutors seek longer sentence

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 11:00 AM

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP): Prosecutors in the Oscar Pistorius case
filed appeal papers yesterday, saying they believe a judge did not
correctly apply the law when she found the Olympic athlete not guilty of
murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The prosecutors also
said they were appealing against the "shockingly light" five-year prison
sentence Pistorius was given for manslaughter, as well as a third
decision by Judge Thokozile Masipa to acquit the double-amputee runner
of illegal possession of ammunition for bullets found in his home.

South
Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said it had filed for leave to
appeal those verdicts and sentence, the first step in a process that
could still see Pistorius convicted of murder and sent to prison for at
least 15 years for killing Steenkamp.

Prosecutors must first ask
Masipa - the red-robed judge who oversaw Pistorius' murder trial - for
permission to appeal against her decisions. If permitted, Pistorius'
case will go to the Supreme Court of Appeal, where it would be reviewed
by a panel of judges, another legal battle for the world-famous runner
whose murder trial lasted seven months and left him broke, according to
his defence lawyers.

Masipa acquitted Pistorius, 27, of murder for
shooting Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet cubicle door on
February 14, 2013 and instead convicted him of a lesser charge of
culpable homicide, or manslaughter.

DOLUS EVENTUALIS

In
the appeal papers, chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel and assistant prosecutor
Andrea Johnson questioned if Masipa correctly applied a section of the
law called dolus eventualis when she acquitted on murder. Dolus eventualis
says a person should be found guilty of murder if they realised their
actions might cause someone's death and went ahead anyway, and that
person died.

Pistorius shot four times through a door and into the
small cubicle from close range, hitting the 29-year-old Steenkamp in
the head, arm and hip.

Pistorius' claim that he mistook his
girlfriend for a nighttime intruder also was not a defence against
murder, the prosecution appeal said, as there was no attack on him that
justified killing in self-defence.