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South African appeals court increases Pistorius murder sentence

South African appeals court increases Pistorius murder sentence

South Africa

A South African appeals court on Friday increased Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence to 13 years and five months after the state argued that his original sentence of six years was “shockingly lenient.”

Pistorius was imprisoned in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 in a case that attracted worldwide interest.

The sister of Steenkamp has said Pistorius has finally got what he deserved after the court more than doubled the murder sentence.

The order reads as follows, one the application for leave to appeal is granted. Two the appeal against sentence is upheld.

“The order reads as follows, one the application for leave to appeal is granted. Two the appeal against sentence is upheld. Three the sentence imposed by the court a quo in respect of the matter is set aside and substituted by the following, the respondent is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of thirteen years and five months. I hereby hand down judgment,” said Justice Legoabe Seriti.

The athlete was not in court for Friday’s ruling where the court handed down the minimum 15-year sentence prescribed for murder in South Africa, and subtracted the years Pistorius had already served.

Steenkamp’s family welcomed the decision and said it showed that justice could prevail in South Africa.

The athlete was originally convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail. The conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court in December 2015 and his sentence was increased to six years by trial judge Thokozile Masipa.

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