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Oscar files papers against appeal

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Convicted paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers will contest the court decision allowing the State to appeal his culpable homicide conviction, his family said on Tuesday.

“We confirm that the defence team has lodged an application for leave to appeal the decision of the court regarding the matters that have been referred to the SCA,” family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said in a statement.

“We will argue that these are matters of fact, rather than matters of law.”

The application for leave to appeal would be heard on March 13, she said.

Broadcaster eNCA reported it would be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg.

On December 10, Pistorius’s family said they would abide by the High Court in Pretoria’s decision granting the State leave to appeal the paralympian’s conviction.

“We note the finding of the court and abide by the ruling,” his uncle Arnold Pistorius said in a one-line statement at the time.

Earlier that day, Judge Thokozile Masipa granted the State’s application to appeal Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction, but dismissed the application to appeal his five-year jail sentence.

The State wants him to be convicted of the more serious charge of murder.

“The application for leave to appeal against sentence is dismissed,” she said.

On the application against his conviction, she said: “I am satisfied that the points raised by the applicant [the State] are indeed a question of law.”

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will deal with the matter at a date yet to be determined.

On October 21, Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

The State filed papers in November calling for a heavier conviction and harsher sentence. SAPA

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