South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius cannot challenge his conviction for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a spokesperson for the prosecuting authorities said on Thursday.
“We can confirm that Oscar Pistorius’ leave to appeal has been denied,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told Reuters.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court on Thursday clears the way for a judge to sentence Pistorius for murder at a hearing scheduled for April 18.
The double-amputee killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
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Under the new conviction for murder, Pistorius, 29, faces a minimum 15-year jail term that may be reduced due to time already spent in jail and the fact that he is a first-time offender.
The Olympian was released from jail in October to live under house arrest at his uncle’s property in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide -- the equivalent of manslaughter.
Pistorius shot Steenkamp at the peak of his fame, and he has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.
Her family had welcomed his murder conviction and described his appeal to the Constitutional Court as a “delaying tactic” to keep him out of jail.