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Defence fights to keep Pistorius from going back to jail

The state yesterday appealed Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction, where judgment was reserved.

Advocate Barry Roux in court as the state is appealing Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 3 November 2015. Picture: Pool

JOHANNESBURG - Oscar Pistorius's advocate Barry Roux on Tuesday argued that in order for the state's appeal to be successful the factual findings in the athlete's trial must be scrapped.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) heard arguments about whether or not Pistorius's culpable homicide conviction must stand or be changed to murder.

The state says there was an error in law, while Roux says the athlete fired four shots at the bathroom door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, because he genuinely believed he was in danger.

Roux argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa's findings are based on two facts; that Pistorius opened fire because he thought he was in danger, and because he believed Steenkamp was in the bedroom.

Roux said Pistorius's state of mind, anxiety and fear must also be taken into account.

But Judge Eric Leach questioned whether Masipa's interpretation of 'dolus eventualis' was correct.

"But we're talking about intent to what was foreseeable."

The SCA clarified that if Pistorius is convicted of murder, the case would have to go back to a lower court for sentencing arguments.

WATCH: SCA judges to decide Pistorius's fate

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