Pistorius case to be heard by Supreme Court on Nov. 3
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) Oscar Pistorius' case will be heard by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Nov. 3, when prosecutors will ask a panel of five judges to reject his trial verdict and convict the double-amputee athlete of murder for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The Supreme Court announced the date on Tuesday. The court said the appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius' acquittal for murder will be heard by a panel headed by the president of the Supreme Court. Two of the five judges are women.
Pistorius was last year found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home in 2013. He testified he mistook her for a dangerous intruder.
Prosecutors accused Pistorius of killing Steenkamp intentionally after a fight and say Judge Thokozile Masipa made errors at the murder trial last year. They want the Supreme Court to re-examine her verdict.
The Supreme Court could overrule Masipa and find the Olympian guilty of murder, order a new trial, or decide Masipa was correct. A murder conviction in South Africa carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail. The country no longer has the death penalty.
Pistorius was sentenced by Masipa to five years in prison for culpable homicide - an unintentional but still unlawful killing equivalent to manslaughter. He is currently in jail in Pretoria waiting for a parole review board to decide if he should be released early to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
A second hearing to decide if he should be released was postponed last week with no date given for when it will take place.
Gerald Imray can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP