Thursday, December 3

Oscar Pistorius Conviction Upgraded To Murder

Oscar Pistorius Conviction Upgraded To Murder
Closing Summary

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, in an appeal court ruling that set aside his original conviction for culpable homicide:

"As a result of the errors of law and on a proper appraisal of the facts, he ought to have been convicted not of culpable homicide on that count but of murder.

In the interests of justice the conviction and the sentence imposed in respect thereof must be set aside and the conviction substituted with a conviction of the correct offence."
Oscar Pistorius Conviction Upgraded To Murder

Oscar Pistorius's conviction for killing Reeva Steenkamp is upgraded to murder.

* The five judges, who were unanimous in their verdict, said Pistorius' evidence and explanations for killing Steenkamp were "implausible" and he had "never offered an acceptable explanation" for firing four times through a closed door.

* The appeal court said the original trial judge, Thokozile Masipa, had been wrong on several points of law, chief among them her conclusion that Pistorius had not foreseen that his actions could kill somebody (dolus eventualis).

Oscar Pistorius Conviction Upgraded To Murder

* Justice Eric Leach, reading the ruling on behalf of the bench, said:

"I have no doubt the accused must have foreseen and therefore did foresee that whoever was behind that door might die."

* The judges said it was clear that Pistorius had criminal intent in firing, and was therefore guilty of murder by dolus eventualis (see here for what that means).

* Pistorius, who was not at the supreme court in Bloemfontein to hear the ruling, will have to appear at the high court in Pretoria for fresh sentencing by Masipa.

* Until then, he is likely to stay under house arrest at his uncle's home and will not immediately return to prison.

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