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South African Prosecutors to Appeal Oscar Pistorius Sentence

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Prosecutors will appeal Oscar Pistorius' culpable homicide conviction and five-year prison sentence, South African officials said Monday. Judge Thokozile Masipa had cleared Pistorius of murder but found him guilty of culpable homicide, a charge similar to manslaughter, for the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Prosecutors had asked for the athlete to serve a decade behind bars but Masipa, in handing down her sentence last week, described five years as "fair and just both to society and to the accused."

The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa said in a statement Monday that its team had been "hard at work studying the judgment" and consulting with legal experts. "Today we announce that the decision to appeal both the conviction and sentence has been taken," it added, saying details would be set out "within the next few days." The Olympic sprinter's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said the family noted the announcement, adding: "The law must run its course." Defense lawyer Barry Roux said last week that expected Pistorius to serve one sixth of his term in prison - about 10 months - before applying to spend the rest of the sentence under house arrest.

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- Rohit Kachroo

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