Oscar Pistorius: Prosecutors appeal for longer sentence

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(BBC) South African prosecutors are appealing for a longer sentence for Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

They told the Supreme Court of Appeal the six-year sentence was “shockingly light” and he should get 15 years.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had been dating for three months before her death (AFP file photo)

Defence lawyers say the sentence handed down by a lower court is appropriate.

Pistorius claimed he shot dead Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after mistaking her for a burglar at his home in the capital Pretoria.

The lower court justified deviating from the prescribed 15-year sentence by saying mitigating circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse outweighed aggravating factors such as his failure to fire a warning shot.

But prosecutor Andrea Johnson said the sentence did not match the gravity of the crime.

Pistorius, 30, is not in the court in Bloemfontein. He is being held at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre prison in Pretoria.

He was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter in 2014, but was found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015.

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