South African Supreme Court of Appeal has changed the manslaughter verdict on Oscar Pistorius, finding him guilty of murder. The five-judge panel, led by Justice Eric Leach reached a conclusion that the athlete killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, after fatally shooting her four times through a locked toilet door.
The court ruling emphasizes that the lower court had improperly excised the rule of Dolus Eventualis-that Pistorius did not know that death was an eventuality of his actions. The plea for self-defence could not apply either, as his life was not in danger at the time of shooting.
Justice Leach explained how the panel had come to the decision to turn the case over.
“As a matter of common sense at the time the fatal shots were fired, the possibility of the death of the person behind the door was clearly an obvious result and in firing not one but four shots, such a result became even more likely,” he said.
The Olympic medalist faces a minimum of 15 years in jail. He could appeal, but the grounds for that are minimal.
The new charge leaves many women groups satisfied, and looks like the final shut to the door of the double amputee’s career.
Pistorius, who did not attend the hearing in Bloemfontein, will have to return to court, for sentencing. The sentence will be passed next year on a date yet to be revealed.
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