September 20, 2020

Oscar Pistorius found guilty of culpable homicide

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Oscar PistoriusBy BBC

athlete has been found of culpable homicide after the judge found he killed his girlfriend by mistake.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said the athlete had acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door, but in the “belief that there was an intruder”.

She said the state had failed to prove he intended to kill .

_77495622_newhouseplan624 _77552878_023865503-1 _77513594_6a2bd413-ddd9-4093-aac0-81c1f84d721e _77551599_023867044-1The judge allowed Pistorius to remain on bail ahead of sentencing which is to take place on 13 October.

The victim’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, condemned the verdict, saying it was “not justice for Reeva”.

Speaking in an interview with NBC News, June Steenkamp said: “He shot through the door and I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident.”

However Arnold Pistorius, the athlete’s uncle, said the family was “deeply grateful” to the judge for finding him not guilty of murder and that a “big burden” had been lifted.

“There are no victors in this,” he added. “We as a family remain deeply affected by the devastating, tragic event… It won’t bring Reeva back but our hearts still go out for her family and friends.”

Reeva Steenkamp’s family, including her mother June (pictured) have yet to comment on the verdict

South Africa’s prosecuting authority said it was “disappointed” Pistorius was not convicted of murder but said it would wait until after sentencing to decide whether to appeal.

The verdict leaves the disgraced sprinter facing up to 15 years in jail, although the judge could suspend the sentence or only impose a fine.

The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko said there was a poignant moment in court when Oscar Pistorius’s father and Reeva Steenkamp’s father hugged each other as the judge adjourned to consider bail.

The athlete was also found guilty on a charge of negligently handling a firearm that went off in a restaurant.

At the scene: Pumza Fihlani, BBC News

_77544604_023865500-1Oscar Pistorius was a picture of composure as the judge announced he was guilty of culpable homicide, a lesser count of murder in South Africa.

The athlete, who became emotional on Thursday after being described as an “evasive witness”, seemed to have been expecting this verdict. The judge had already spoken of his negligence and use of “excessive force” when he fired through the door.

Some say this verdict is the best outcome he could have hoped for.

Many South Africans have questioned the judge’s decision to acquit him of murder and argue that the prosecution may have grounds to appeal.

For now, the Pistorius family seem relieved. But in the benches opposite them, friends and relatives of model Reeva Steenkamp wept, while others, including her mother June, seemed shell-shocked.

For more on this story go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29149581

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