Pistorius stresses charity work on second day of sentencing hearing | News | DW | 14.10.2014
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Pistorius stresses charity work on second day of sentencing hearing

On the second day of Oscar Pistorius' sentencing hearing, the defense has stressed his charity work to avoid him going to jail for the manslaughter of his partner. The sentence is expected to be handed down this week.

South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is trying to demonstrate that a lenient sentence of house arrest may be appropriate for him. His agent Peet van Zyl took the witness stand on the second day of the sentencing hearing on Tuesday to outline Pistorius' charity work - an important component of the athlete's strategy to avoid serving jail time.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, meanwhile, told Pistorius in court that being involved in charity "is merely an advancement of your career." Pistorius has done volunteer work and donated funds to help disabled people.

Pistorius, a double-amputee Paralympic sprinter who also competed in the 2012 Olympic Games,was convicted of culpable homicide - or manslaughter in September. He went on trial on March 3 after he fired four hollow point bullets through a locked toilet door in his upmarket Pretoria home, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He said he believed he had been shooting at an intruder. Pistorius could be seen sobbing several times during the trial, which was broadcast live on television.

Judge Thokozile Masipa's ruling outraged many in South Africa, and some legal experts believe she misinterpreted the definition of non-premeditated murder, saying Pistorius must have known that shooting four times through a locked door could kill a person. Some also questioned whether the justice system was failing the crime-plagued country.

Pistorius is currently out on bail of one million rand ($90,000). He had to sell his house in a gated compound in Pretoria to fund the trial. He has withdrawn from competitive sports, but the International Paralympic Committee has said he would be allowed to compete again in future.

Judge Masipa is expected to hand down the sentence in the next two to three days, after both the defense and the prosecution have presented their arguments again.

ng/ksb (dpa, AP, AFP)

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