Oscar Pistorius Prosecutors to Seek Murder Conviction on Nov. 3

  • Pistorius may be released from prison prior to appeal hearing
  • Olympian convicted of manslaughter for Reeva Steenkamp death

South Africa’s appeals court will on Nov. 3 hear a bid from prosecutors to convict jailed Paralympian gold medalist Oscar Pistorius of murder for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, 28, is serving a five-year jail term for culpable homicide after High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared him of murder charges in October last year. Pistorius said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his home when he fired four bullets through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day two years ago.

The case will be heard on one day by five Supreme Court judges, Paul Myburgh, the registrar of the Bloemfontein-based court, said by phone on Tuesday. Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for Pistorius, didn’t immediately answer calls seeking comment.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued last year that Pistorius must have known his actions would lead to the death of the person behind the door and called his five-year jail term “shockingly inappropriate.”

Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games, could be released before the start of the appeal when a parole review board decides in the next few weeks whether he can serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha halted Pistorius’ planned release from prison a day before he was scheduled to go home on Aug. 21 after a women’s activist group asked for the switch to house arrest to be reviewed.