NPA to ponder possible appeal against Pistorius judgement

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Sources in the National Prosecuting Authority say a possible appeal against the Pretoria High Court ruling will depend on whether there’s a perception that Judge Thokozile Masipa erred in her judgment in the Oscar Pistorius case.

The NPA earlier said it would only decide after sentencing whether to appeal. Pistorius was on Friday convicted of culpable homicide, but acquitted for premeditated murder.

Some legal experts say the Judge may have erred in her legal reasoning regarding the dismissal of the murder charge.

Sources within the Pistorius case’s investigating team, have told SABC News that they couldn’t believe what they were hearing as Judge Masipa rejected the majority of the State’s case against the athlete.

State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel will apparently now pass the case’s documents along with Masipa’s judgment to a third independent party within the NPA. This person could then decide on whether or not the State should pursue an appeal against the judgment.

The prosecution firmly believes that Pistorius deserved to be found guilty of murder. But a possible appeal will depend on whether Masipa did indeed err in her judgment when applying her mind to the law regarding definitions of murder.

Meanwhile, legal expert, Piet Pistorius, says paralympian Oscar Pistorius may avoid serving a prison term for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The expert says given the findings of Judge Thokozile Masipa, he doesn’t believe a harsh sentence will be handed down.

According to advocate Pistorius, Masipa is likely to hand down a non-custodial sentence. He says that from Masipa’s findings, the blade runner did not have intent to murder his girlfriend. He adds that from this basis, it would be surprising if there’s an imprisonment term imposed.

The case continues on 13 October.

– By Jacques Steenkamp