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Update: Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty with Criminal Intent for the Murder of Reeva Steenkamp

The Supreme Court of Appeal has found Oscar Pistorius guilty with criminal intent for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

The SCA’s final verdict was heard in Bloemfontein today and delivered by Judge Eric Leach. On Valentine’s Day 2013, Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door, but in September 2014 Judge Thokozile Masipa found him innocent of manslaughter and guilty of culpable homicide. The State then approached the SCA in an attempt to overturn the verdict from culpable homicide to murder.

 
The Guardian reports that the culpable homicide conviction has been set aside. The SCA found that Judge Masipa’s interpretation of dolus eventualis was inaccurate and that Pistorius was never able to give an adequate explanation of the events that night.

Read the article:

The appeal court’s ruling was damning on the issue of Pistorius’ credibility.

His evidence and explanations for the shooting were described as “implausible”.

The judges said Pistorius “never offered an acceptable explanation” for firing four times through the closed door.

Justice Eric Leach, reading the ruling on behalf of the five-judge bench, said:

I have no doubt … the accused must have foreseen and therefore did foresee that whoever was behind that door might die.

Pistorius’ claim – one of several put forward by the defence – of putative private defence, or self-defence in fear of his life, was not rational, the judges said.

Barry Bateman, Eyewitness News senior journalist and co-author of Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story, live tweeted from Bloemfontein:

 
eNCA reports that the decision to overturn Pistorius’ verdict was made unanimously by the five presiding judges, and legal experts share their thoughts on what this case will mean for the interpretation of the law of dolus eventualis in future trials.

Read the article:

“It’s clear from reconstruction and photographs, the path each bullet took would have struck the person standing behind hit. There would have been nowhere for the deceased to hide,” he said.

Pistorius must have forseen the potential consequences of his actions, said the judge.

Leach said the North Gauteng High court correctly found that Pistorius was a poor witness.

Read the article on Times LIVE for a round-up of events since 14 February, 2013, Leach’s comments on the case and June Steenkamp’s reaction when the verdict was announced:

Judge Eric Leach announced that the state’s appeal in the Oscar Pistorius case was successful.

“Guilty of murder, with the accused having criminal intent,” Leach told the court. “The matter is referred back to the trial court to consider an appropriate sentence.”

The court found in favour of the state in two of the three questions of law reserved by the high court to be determined by the SCA.

It found that the principles of dolus eventualis were incorrectly applied by the high court.

One last time, follow the hashtag #OscarPistorius for more on today’s proceedings:


 

The case has inspired a host of authors to put their analysis of the events to paper:

Chase Your ShadowBehind the DoorOscar: An Accident Waiting to HappenDie staat vs OscarPieces of the PuzzleReeva: A Mother's StoryBehind the Door

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