Oscar’s legal team files opposing arguments
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Pretoria - The application by the State for leave to appeal against Oscar Pistorius’ six-year jail sentence will be heard next Friday (Aug 26) in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Oscar’s legal team on Thursday filed their opposition to prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s application. Nel claimed that Judge Thokozile Masipa meted out a shockingly lenient sentence to Oscar following his conviction for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Oscar’s lawyers contend that there is no prospect of another court increasing the sentence. It said that the State had no regard for the fact that Oscar had already spent 12 months in jail when he was previously convicted of culpable homicide.
The Pistorius defence team also stated that the paralympian was under correctional supervision for seven months after his release. Pending his resentencing, this time for murder, he was placed under even stricter bail conditions, which included house arrest. The defence said although the judge took this into account, it appears that the State has “conveniently” omitted considering these facts. “It must be borne in mind that correctional supervision is a form of detention.”
It was further stated that: “If regard is had to the fact that subject to good behaviour an accused would usually be released on parole after serving about 60% of his sentence, the previous sentence period served, as well as the correctional supervision, constitute about a two year effective imprisonment sentence already, served by the accused.”
The defence is of the opinion that this makes the present sentence an effective eight-year-sentence, which it said is anything but lenient.
Oscar is at present serving his six-year jail term at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria.
The State wants to appeal his present sentence before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, but it first has to obtain leave to appeal from the trial judge, Masipa.
If next Friday’s bid before her failed, the State can directly petition the SCA for leave to appeal.