Defence: Retrial would expose Pistorius to double jeopardy

Barry Roux says if the court orders a retrial Pistorius would again be charged with murder on the same facts.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius during his sentencing at the High Court in Pretoria on, 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius's legal team has argued that if the Supreme Court of Appeal finds in favour of the state and orders a retrial, the athlete would be exposed to double jeopardy, which is not permissible in law.

These details are contained in the blade runner's heads of argument filed with the court in Bloemfontein, with the appeal hearing scheduled for November.

Pistorius is serving a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day two years ago.

Advocate Barry Roux says if the court orders a retrial Pistorius would again be charged with murder on the same facts, notwithstanding the fact that he was acquitted on a charge of murder.

Roux says mitigating factors that the court should consider before making such an order include the extent and time duration of a trial, the complexity of it and the fairness to his client.

The advocate says Pistorius cannot financially afford a new trial.

He has dismissed the state's argument that the trial court did not properly apply the principle of dolus eventualis, arguing that the appeal is simply an attempt by prosecutors to reintroduce its failed murder case.