Oscar Pistorius Plans To Appeal Against Murder Conviction

Released on bail

South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius will appeal against his murder conviction in the Constitutional Court, his lawyer says at his bail hearing.

Pistorius was in court to apply for bail after judges changed his manslaughter conviction to murder last week.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail.

He was released on $700 bail, and is due to return to court on 18 April.

Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel said he had agreed to more stringent house arrest conditions and to electronic monitoring.

There was also discussion in court about the radius within which Oscar Pistorius would be able to move, with Mr Nel agreeing to a radius of 5km (three miles) to reduce flight risk.

Mr Roux said Pistorius was able to pay the sum of 10,000 rand (£465, $687) for bail.

The 29-year-old killed Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day after shooting four times through a locked toilet door.

Pistorius is a six-time Paralympic gold medallist whose legs were amputated below the knee as a baby. He made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012, running on prosthetic “blades”.

‘Dolus eventualis’ rule

The BBC understands that the prosecution and defence lawyers have privately agreed that he should be allowed to remain at his uncle’s house in Pretoria until he is formally sentenced next year. The date for sentencing is also expected to be announced on Tuesday.

There may be mitigating circumstance which could see the duration of the sentence reduced, reports our South Africa correspondent Karen Allen.

Last week, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein accepted prosecution arguments and ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the concept of “dolus eventualis” – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

What next for Pistorius?

When will he be sentenced?

We do not have a date yet, but it will be next year. The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, but the judge does have the discretion to lower it.

Can he appeal?

Yes, but only if his lawyers are convinced that the appeal judges violated his constitutional rights. So it is a high threshold, and hard to meet.

Is this the end of Pistorius’ professional athletics career?

Almost certainly. He is 29, and will be past his prime by the time he is freed. It is also unlikely that advertisers would want to sponsor him, as the Pistorius brand is now tainted.

Last week’s ruling said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.

Pistorius always maintained that he believed there was an intruder in the house – but Justice Eric Leach said that the identity of the person behind the door was “irrelevant to his guilt”.

The judge added that Pistorius did “not take that most elementary precaution of firing a warning shot”.

Correspondents say that many in South Africa were upset by the original acquittal on murder charges, with women’s rights groups arguing he should have been found guilty of murder as a deterrent because of the high number of women who are killed by their partners in the country.

The double amputee was released from prison on 19 October as he was eligible for release under “correctional supervision”, having served a sixth of his sentence.