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Prosecutors push for Oscar Pistorius court hearing for murder sentence

A day after South Africa's top appeals court convicted Oscar Pistorius of murder, prosecutors have pushed for the Olympian runner to appear in court as soon as possible so that a date can be set for his sentencing.

Pistorius must appear in the North Gauteng High Court "as a matter of extreme urgency," and the court will determine any bail amount at that time, said Luvuyo Mfaku, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority.

An arrest warrant has not been issued for Pistorius, contrary to some media reports, Mfaku said.

The Pistorius family has said its legal team will advise it on legal options following the murder conviction of Pistorius, who shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a lower court's manslaughter conviction of the runner. Pistorius spent one year of a five-year sentence in jail for the lesser offence and then was put under house arrest at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria in October.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home early on Valentine's Day 2013. Prosecutors said he killed her after an argument; Pistorius said he killed her by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Justice Lorimer Eric Leach of the Supreme Court of Appeal said that regardless of who Pistorius said he thought was behind the door, he should have known someone could be killed if he fired.

Under South African law, a person can be convicted of murder if he or she foresaw the possibility of someone dying through their actions and went ahead anyway


From Belfast Telegraph