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Mistaking his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for a possible intruder, Oscar Pistorius shot four bullets through the cubicle of the toilet and eventually killed her. The incident took place on 14 February, 2013.

After a psychiatric evaluation of the South African sprint runner and almost a seven-month trial Judge Thokozile Masipa announced the final verdict on 21 October 2014, sentencing him to five years of imprisonment. She held Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide and discharging fire arm in a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. Along with the 5-year jail term, he was also awarded a three-year suspended prison sentence for a separate reckless endangerment conviction.

Two months after announcing Pistorius as guilty of culpable homicide, Judge Thokozile Masipa has given the go ahead to the prosecution to appeal the ruling. Now, the onus shifts to the Supreme Court of Appeal to decide whether Pistorius is guilty of murder.

This case will now be reviewed by a panel of up to five judges, who can overrule Masipa’s decision. The case will be heard by the panel at the Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. However, for the Supreme Court of Appeal to do so, the apex judicial body needs to be convinced that the judge Masipa had misinterpreted the law.

If Pistorius is convicted of murder, his jail sentence might get extended to 15 years.

The bone of contention has been Judge Masipa's application of the legal term "dolus eventualis", which is used to describe a situation wherein the perpetrator “foresees the possibility of his action causing death and persists regardless.” Masipa had come to a conclusion that Pistorius had foreseen that he might kill somebody when he fired four shots into his toilet door. Hence, he was cleared of murder charge and convicted on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Since the beginning, Pistorius has maintained that he killed his girlfriend unintentionally as he thought her to be an intruder. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had advocated a sterner punishment for Pistorius since “he had an intent to kill whomever was in the bathroom.”

The fate of the 28-year-old hangs on tenterhooks. It has come to pass that the news of appeal hasn't gone down well with Pistorius who has reportedly been adjusting to life behind bars.

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