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Fri Jul 29 12:15:40 SAST 2016

Pistorius moves to appeal murder conviction in Constitutional Court

AFP | 11 January, 2016 17:42
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015.
Image by: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius on Monday applied to appeal to South Africa's Constitutional Court in a last-ditch attempt to overturn his murder conviction for shooting dead his girlfriend in 2013.

"We have lodged an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court," Andrew Fawcett, a lawyer on Pistorius's legal team, told AFP.

Pistorius has been on bail awaiting a new sentence since December, when judges found him guilty of murder, overturning his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for killing Reeva Steenkamp.

Under the new conviction for murder, he faces a minimum 15-year jail term that may be reduced due to time already spent in jail and the fact that he is a first-time offender.

"The application has been served on the director of public prosecutions," Fawcett said.

"They will now indicate when they will be opposing the application and what the grounds of opposition will be.

"Then we wait for the Constitutional Court to make a ruling on whether or not they will hear the appeal."

Pistorius was released from jail in October to live under house arrest at his uncle's house in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide -- the equivalent of manslaughter.

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