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World

South Africa's Highest Court Dismisses Pistorius Appeal

Double-amputee runner set to be sentenced for murder on April 18

Oscar Pistorius
2 years ago
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2012 file photo, South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa. A lawyer for Oscar Pistorius says South Africa's highest court has dismissed the former track star's appeal of his murder conviction. The ruling by the Constitutional Court on Thursday March 3, 2016 clears the way for a judge to sentence Pistorius for murder at a hearing scheduled for April 18. (Lucky Nxumalo/Citypress via AP, File) SOUTH AFRICA OUT

South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012. Pistorius killed Steenkamp in 2013. Photo: Citypress via AP/Lucky Nxumalo.

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s highest court has dismissed Oscar Pistorius’ appeal of his murder conviction, a lawyer said Thursday, signaling that the former track star’s long legal battle since he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp may be drawing to a close.

The ruling by the Constitutional Court clears the way for a judge to sentence the double-amputee runner for murder at a hearing scheduled for April 18.

“We’ll proceed to the sentencing,” defense lawyer Andrew Fawcett said.

Pistorius spent one year of a five-year sentence in jail for the lesser offense. He is currently under house arrest, staying at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, though a judge can reduce that sentence for what the law describes as exceptional circumstances.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home early on Valentine’s Day 2013. Prosecutors said he killed her after an argument; Pistorius said he killed her by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion, became the first amputee to run at the Olympics and the able-bodied world championships. He was known as “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fiber running blades.

BY CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA

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