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Pistorius Appeal Hearing Set for December 9

  • VOA News

South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, center, enters a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, center, enters a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

South African prosecutors say their application to appeal the conviction and sentence given to track star Oscar Pistorius will be heard in a Pretoria court December 9.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said last week it would appeal the decisions, which critics have said are too light given the circumstances of the case.

The Authority is questioning whether Judge Thokozile Masipa correctly applied the legal principle of dolus eventualis, which means a person is responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their actions.

Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home in February 2013. Pistorius said he thought he was firing at a nighttime intruder.

Judge Masipa absolved Pistorius of more serious murder charges, saying prosecutors did not prove the shooting was premeditated.

Pistorius is currently serving his five-year sentence at a prison in Pretoria. His lawyers have said he could be released to house arrest within a year.

Pistorius is known as the "blade runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. He rose to fame in the London 2012 Games, where he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.

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