In a new turn of event in the murder case involving Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, the South African prosecutors are going to appeal against the verdict of culpable homicide and the five-year imprisonment sentence pronounced against him last week.
The development comes in the light of several public and legal criticism of the decision of the judge to release the track star of murder.
Pistorius, who has amputated lower legs, is accused for allegedly murdering his girlfriend last year on Valentine’s Day after shooting at her with four 9mm rounds into locked door of a toilet.
Pistorius has been denying the accusations saying he mistakenly shot into a locked door thinking of an intruder hiding behind it.
The appeal was announced on Monday in a statement on micro-blogging site Twitter from National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“Oscar Pistorius judgement, NPA will be appealing both the conviction and sentence,” NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube posted on Twitter.
The state had been unsuccessful in convincing judge Thokozile Masipa during the seven-month trial of the high profile case about the intent of Pistorius over the killing episode when he fired at the locked door.
Masipa’s verdict to rule out murder was heavily condemned by the Women’s League of the African National Congress (ANC) and several legal experts, who have termed the killing as an erroneous interpretation of ‘dolus eventualis’.
Dolus eventualis is the legal principle under which a person is held accountable for the foreseeable consequences of their actions.
“We have already sought a legal opinion on the proceedings thus far, especially on the interpretation of the Pistorius judgment and in particular the understanding of the concept of dolus,” the ANC Women’s League said before Mncube’s statement.
“We believe regardless of whom Mr. Pistorius believed was behind the bathroom door on that fateful night, Mr. Pistorius shot to kill and therefore a murder did occur,” ANC Women’s League added further.
A possible error of law has opened the path for an appeal by the state.