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The judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder has resumed delivery

Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared him of murder

The judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder has resumed delivery of her verdict on whether the athlete is guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend.

Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared him of murder on Thursday, saying the state had failed to prove he intended to kill the model Reeva Steenkamp last year. But the judge said his conduct on the night in question had been negligent.

Mr Pistorius admits firing through a toilet door at his home but says he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder.

The athlete arrived at court surround by bodyguards on Friday morning, pushing his way through a scrum of journalists to get inside the Pretoria High Court, where Ms Steenkamp’s family were already assembled.

On Thursday, prompting tears from the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, Judge Masipa said he could not have foreseen killing whoever was behind the door – but went on to say that he had acted hastily and with excessive force.
She described his actions as negligent.

Correspondents said the judge appeared to be leaning towards the lesser charge of manslaughter, known in South Africa as culpable homicide, when she adjourned unexpectedly for the day.

The charge of culpable homicide implies negligence without intention to kill and could still mean a jail sentence of up to 15 years. Legal experts suggest seven to 10 years is more likely.

The double amputee had denied murdering Ms Steenkamp after a row on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.
Mr Pistorius, 27, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.

bbc news

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