JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African prosecutors on Monday said that their request to appeal Oscar Pistorius’ manslaughter conviction and five-year prison sentence would be heard on Dec 9.
The jailed Paralympian’s legal team has opposed the move, setting the stage for a hearing before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a month.
The National Prosecuting Authority had described Pistorius sentence for killing Reeva Steenkamp as “shockingly light”. Under South African law the double-amputee could serve just 10 months in jail.
The prosecuting authority said Monday it “believes there exists reasonable prospects of a successful appeal based on a question of law.”
The 27-year-old was handed the five-year sentence by Judge Thokozile Masipa after a sensational trial which lasted over seven months.
The athlete shot dead his 29-year-old girlfriend Steenkamp through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day of 2013. He claimed he mistook her for an intruder.
The judge found there was not enough evidence to convict him of premeditated murder, jailing him for five years, but the athlete could serve just one-sixth of that sentence in prison.
The prosecutors said in their papers that the judge “erred in over-emphasising the personal circumstances” of the athlete and the fact he was “anxious and ‘seems remorseful’” during the trial. Pistorius is currently serving his sentence in the hospital section of Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria.