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South African court doubles Oscar Pistorius’s prison sentence

State argued athletes original convict of six years for assassination of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shockingly lenient

A South African appeal court has more than doubled the former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The supreme court of appeal( SCA) increased Pistorius’s sentence from six years in prison to 13 times and five months.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp, a modeling and statute graduate, by firing four bullets from a handgun through a closed toilet entrance in his luxury home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day 2013. He claimed “hes having” mistaken her for a burglar.

Steenkamp’s family greeted the longer sentence and said it showed that justice could reign in South Africa.” This is an emotional thing for them. They merely feel that their trust in criminal justice systems has been confirmed this morning ,” Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family, said on Friday.

The SCA said Pistorius” displays a lack of repentance, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions “.

The high court judge Thokozile Masipa initially convicted Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014. The sentence was much lower than many had expected and was widely criticised.

He served only 10 months of the five-year convict in prison before being released and put under house arrest.

The state appealed against the culpable murder sentence, and it was later replaced with assassination by the SCA in 2016. Masipa handed down a six-year prison word in July 2016- described as” shockingly lenient” by state prosecutors.

The athlete “re not in” courtroom for Friday’s ruling, where the court handed down the minimum 15 -year sentence prescribed for slaughter in South Africa, then subtracted the years Pistorius had already served in jail.

Critics said Pistorius had received preferential treatment as a wealthy, white celebrity.

Pistorius, who became 31 on Wednesday, has always maintained he burnt in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind the door.

His lawyers have just one avenue open to them if they want to challenge the following sentence handed down by the state supreme court, and that is to appeal to the constitutional tribunal, the highest court in South africans. Pistorius failed with an appeal to the constitutional tribunal last year to challenge his murder conviction.

In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, the state supreme court justice Willie Seriti said a panel of magistrates had unanimously upheld appeal procedures by prosecutors against Pistorius’s original six-year sentence.

Under that initial convict, the double-amputee runner could have been released on parole in mid-2 019. Now, a very early he will be eligible for parole is 2023.

Pistorius should have been sentenced to the prescribed minimum of 15 years for slaughter, Seriti said, as he delivered the verdict of a panel of five working judges at the SCA in the city centre of Bloemfontein. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Friday’s decision also has possible outcomes for where he is held for the remainder of his sentence. Pistorius was moved from the high-security Kgosi Mampuru II prison in central Pretoria to Atteridgeville, which houses captives be subject to six years or less. Pistorius might now be moved back to a higher-security facility.

Pistorius’s brother, Carl, wrote on Twitter:” Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted .”

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ nov/ 24/ oscar-pistorius-prison-sentence-doubled-south-african-court-reeva-steenkamp

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