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Prosecution says it will appeal Pistorius verdict

Agencies | Updated: 2014-10-27 21:52

JOHANNESBURG (AP) _ A spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority says prosecutors will appeal the verdict and sentencing of Oscar Pistorius, who was handed a 5-year prison term after being convicted of culpable homicide.

Prosecution spokesman Nathi Mncube said Monday that the next step is to file papers in court.

Pistorius started serving his prison sentence on Oct. 21 after he was acquitted of murder by a judge and found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.

Under the current terms, the Olympic runner is eligible for release after 10 months and would then complete his sentence under house arrest.

Prosecutors failed to prove murder after the athlete said he fired in the mistaken belief an intruder was hiding behind the door, a defence that struck a chord with many people in a country with one of the world's highest rates of violent crime.

However, Judge Thokozile Masipa's decision drew criticism from some legal experts who said she had made an error in her interpretation of the legal concept of 'dolus eventualis', whereby a person is held accountable for the foreseeable consequences of their actions.

Other lawyers said her verdict was sound.

In South Africa, an appeal by the state against a verdict can only be made on a matter of law, and does not involve a retrial or the submission of any new evidence.

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