Oscar Pistorius Asked For Bribe By Fake Official To Overturn Murder Conviction

A man pretending to be an official for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) tried to scam Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius out of a bribe in order to overturn Pistorius’s murder conviction for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steencamp. Pistorius shot Steencamp to death on Valentines’ Day 2013. He was later found innocent of murder but found guilty of culpable homicide.

The Times Live reported that the 33-year-old man demanded R250,000 ($16,290) from Pistorius. The Hawks launched an investigation, and the scam, which took place in Pretoria, ended when the man received R40,000 ($2,600) and police made the arrest. Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement that the arrest was made after the man received the R40,000 to have Oscar Pistorius’ case destroyed.

“The suspect was arrested next to the Pretoria High Court and he has been charged with corruption.”

Pistorius, who is out on R10,000 ($650) bail, lost his Constitutional Court application after his charge was changed from culpable homicide to murder by an appeals court. He served one year in jail before being released last October under correctional supervision.

Pistorius was charged with the murder of Steencamp, and his trial lasted six months. He fired four shots into a toilet cubicle in his house after he said that he mistook her for an intruder. The Week U.K. reported that Oscar Pistorius is set to be re-sentenced in April for the murder of Reeva Steencamp.

Pistorius was originally convicted by a judge in 2014 and sentenced to five years in prison for culpable homicide. South Africa hasn’t had trial by jury since apartheid. Judge Thokozile Masipa, the judge in Pistorius’ case, refused to convict him on a charge of murder because she said that under the principle of dolus eventualis, there was not enough evidence to prove that he could see that his actions would result in a death. The Supreme Court disagreed with Judge Masipa, and the conviction was changed to a charge of murder.

Prior to having his conviction overturned, he served one year in prison and was then released to serve out the rest of his sentence at his uncle’s home in Pretoria. In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his conviction on a point of law and ruled that he was guilty of murder.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court said that his appeal would have no chance of success. Pistorius’ legal team argued for an appeal because they said that because Oscar Pistorius was disabled, the court had ignored the fact that he was a person of vulnerability and had acted out of fear when he shot Steenkamp. The Constitutional Court rejected the argument and sentencing is set for April 18.

When Oscar Pistorius returns to the high court, a judge will reconsider his sentence. He faces a minimum 15-year sentence minus time already served, and his defense team is expected to put forth mitigating factors in the hopes of negotiating a lesser sentence for Pistorius.

A National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa spokesperson said that the government is expected to seek the maximum term of 15 years for Oscar Pistorius, and the defense and prosecution will present their cases before the original trial judge, Thokozile Masipa, unless she is not available. Pistorius cannot appeal his conviction, but he does have the option of appealing his sentence.

[Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images]