The prosecution in the Oscar Pistorius case have no ground to appeal both the conviction and sentencing for Oscar as the law was applied correctly, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday. This was said by the leading counsel of the defence, the now notorious Barry Roux SC during the first of a number of court hearings in the appeal that was lodged by the prosecution led by Gerrie Nel.
According to the defence lawyer, the judge in the case, Thokozile Masipa, applied the law correctly. He added that the problem was that the prosecution did not appreciate the judge’s factual findings and were therefore saying that they had been wrongly applied. He also reminded the prosecution that they could not appeal on a point of fact but rather on a point of law. In agreement with this, Gerrie Nel said the they were not allowed to contest the verdict arrived at by the judge on a point of law but they add that the judge had not applied correctly the principle of dolus eventualis and they believe that they had a case for appeal. Gerrie Nel argued that the court had shown a lot of mercy in both conviction and sentencing.
On 21 October, Judge Thokozile Masipa found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide as well as another lesser charge of discharging a firearm. He was sentenced to three years which were wholly suspended for five years. For the main charge, Masipa handed him a five year sentence. According to Masipa, the accused at the time could not have known that he was going to kill whoever was behind the toilet door when he pulled the trigger. This is where Roux says the state does not have a case to appeal as the fact that someone intended to shoot but could not foresee that they would kill someone was a factual finding that could not be appealed.
After the debate between the two counsels was heard, Judge Thokozile Masipa thanked them and postponed the hearing to Wednesday.