Paralympian Oscar Pistorius moves to appeal against murder conviction

Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa after he was granted bail at his bail hearing on Dec 8, 2015.
Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa after he was granted bail at his bail hearing on Dec 8, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius on Monday (Jan 11) applied to appeal to South Africa's Constitutional Court in a last-ditch attempt to overturn his murder conviction for shooting dead his girlfriend in 2013.

"We have lodged an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court," said Mr Andrew Fawcett, a lawyer on Pistorius's legal team.

Pistorius has been on bail awaiting a new sentence since December, when judges found him guilty of murder, overturning his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for killing Ms Reeva Steenkamp.

Under the new conviction for murder, he faces a minimum 15-year jail term that may be reduced due to time already spent in jail and the fact that he is a first-time offender.

"The application has been served on the director of public prosecutions," Mr Fawcett said.

"They will now indicate when they will be opposing the application and what the grounds of opposition will be.

"Then we wait for the Constitutional Court to make a ruling on whether or not they will hear the appeal."

Pistorius was released from jail in October to live under house arrest at his uncle's house in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter.