Pistorius lawyers file appeal at South Africa's highest court

Lawyers for Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius filed papers at South Africa's highest court on Monday afternoon appealing his murder conviction.

The Constitutional Court, based in Johannesburg, will decide whether there are "constitutional matters" that need to be decided on in the Pistorius appeal, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told dpa.

"The papers were filed at the Constitutional Court this afternoon and the NPA received a copy of them shortly after," Mfaku said.

"The state has 10 days in which to reply to the papers."

Pistorius, 29, was granted bail on December 8 following his murder conviction by Judge Aubrey Ledwaba.

He is next due in court on April 18, when his legal team will update the judge on the status of his Constitutional Court application.

"The Constitutional Court will decide whether or not the case should be given access to it or not. It all depends on whether there are constitutional issues at stake," Mfaku said.

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

The Supreme Court of Appeals on December 3 found him guilty of murdering her, reversing a 2014 ruling by the high court in Pretoria, which had only found him guilty of culpable homicide.

Pistorius testified that he mistook Steenkamp, 29, for a burglar before he fired four shots through a bathroom door with a pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that, while Pistorius has the right to bring that application, he doubted it would be successful. 

The athlete - known widely as the Blade Runner for his use of running blades in track events, which he needs because his lower legs were amputated as a child due to a medical condition - became the first Paralympian in 2012 to compete in the Olympic Games.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for the culpable homicide conviction on October 21, 2014, but was released one year later on house arrest.

He is currently fitted with an electronic tag and lives at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria.

He may only leave the house between 7 am and noon and may not leave Pretoria.

Last update: Mon, 11/01/2016 - 19:33

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