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South Africa high court more than doubles Pistorius prison sentence

The Pistorius trial became a landmark event in South Africa's judicial history. On Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear a petition from prosecutors that his six-year term for murder was too low
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (AFP)
Supreme Court of Appeals rules sentence increased to the maximum 15 year sentence for murder, less time served

A South African appeals court on Friday more than doubled the prison sentence of former Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, raising it from six years to a term of 13 years and five months.

Prosecutors had argued that his six-year prison sentence for culpable homicide -- the equivalent of manslaughter -- was too short.

The Supreme Court of Appeals ruled his sentence increased to the maximum 15 year sentence for murder, less time already served.

The double-amputee admitted to killing Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, on Valentine's Day three years ago, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

Pistorius denied killing Steenkamp in a rage and, during his 2014 trial, sobbed and occasionally vomited in the dock as details of his lover's death were examined in excruciating detail.

Alon Skuy (Pool/AFP/File)

He was initially convicted by a lower court of culpable homicide, citing mitigating circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse in their decision to grant a lesser sentence.

But Supreme Court judges in December 2016 described his testimony at his trial in 2014 as "untruthful" and delivered a damning indictment of the original verdict.

They found him guilty of murder, overruling the culpable homicide conviction.

Pistorius' trial became a landmark event in South Africa's judicial history. The former Paralympic athlete has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.

More to follow.

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