Pistorius case being heard by Supreme Court of Appeal

Oscar Pistorius Leaves Prison, Begins House Arrest


BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AP) — A prosecutor on Tuesday sought a murder conviction against Oscar Pistorius before South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal, saying a lower court erred in acquitting the double-amputee athlete of that charge for killing his girlfriend, instead convicting him of culpable homicide.

"On the objective facts, the accused cannot escape the conviction of murder," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said, addressing a panel of five judges, who could convict Pistorius of murder. The judges could also rule that his manslaughter conviction should stand, or even order another trial.

The Olympic runner's chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, also presented arguments to the judges, who wore black robes and sat on ornate wooden chairs with red backing.

If convicted of murder, Pistorius he would face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. South Africa no longer has the death penalty.

See photos of Pistorius during his trial:

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Pistorius case being heard by Supreme Court of Appeal
BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15 (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on October 15, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but convicted him of culpable homicide. Today, Sentencing continues today. (Photo by Antoine de Ras/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15 (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Pretoria High Court on October 15, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Oscar Pistorius not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but convicted him of culpable homicide. Sentencing continues today. (Photo by Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15: Aimee Pistorius (L) and Carl Pistorius (R), Oscar Pistorius' brother and sister, arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 15, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15: Arnold Pistorius, the uncle of Oscar Pistorius, arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 15, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15: Barry Steenkamp arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 15, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 15: Carl Pistorius, brother of Oscar Pistorius, arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 15, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 14 (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): Oscar Pistorius talks to his defence team in the Pretoria High Court for sentencing in his murder trial on October 14, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but convicted him of culpable homicide. Sentencing continues today. (Photo by Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 14 (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): Oscar Pistorius hugs his brother Carl Pistorius as he arrives in the Pretoria High Court for sentencing in his murder trial on October 14, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but convicted him of culpable homicide. Sentencing continues today. (Photo by Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius gestures at the High Court in Pretoria on October 14, 2014, during his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / Themba Hadebe (Photo credit should read THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 14: News broadcasters report from outside North Gauteng High Court on October 14, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius looks down while his phycologist gives evidences during his sentencing hearing at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 13:  Oscar Pistorius arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 13, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 13:  Oscar Pistorius arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 13, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 13:  Oscar Pistorius arrives at North Gauteng High Court on October 13, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will be sentenced having been found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.  (Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (R) looks on while listening to one of his defence lawyers at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (R) talks to one of his defence lawyers at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria on October 13, 2014. Fallen paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius returns to court today at the start of his sentencing hearing after he was convicted of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, with his lawyers set to argue for leniency. The double-amputee track star last month escaped a murder conviction in a verdict that shocked the country and fuelled criticism of South Africa's legal system. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Oscar Pistorius eanters the North Gauteng High Court on September 12, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa ruled out murder charges yesterday, but convicted Oscar Pistorius in court today of culpable homicide, as the six month trial of the Olympic double-amputee sprinter comes to an end. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. Sentencing for Pistorius will be on October 13. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 12: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Oscar Pistorius outside the Pretoria High Court on September 12, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius has been acquitted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year. Judge Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu//Gallo Image/Getty Images)
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (C) leaves the High Court in Pretoria on September 12, 2014 after the verdict was handed down in his murder trial where he was found guilty of culpable homicide. Oscar Pistorius was on found guilty of culpable homicide on September 12 and faced a potential lengthy jail term for shooting dead his glamorous girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013, in a case that shattered the Paralympian hero's glittering career. Pistorius was acquitted of a more serious charge of murder, but South African Judge Thokozile Masipa said that he had acted 'negligently' in killing the blonde law graduate, named as one of the world's 100 sexiest women. AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 12: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Advocate Barry Roux speaks to the media outside the Pretoria High Court on September 12, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius has been acquitted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year. Judge Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu//Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 12: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Henke Pistorius outside the Pretoria High Court on September 12, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius has been acquitted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year. Judge Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu//Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 12: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on September 12, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius has been acquitted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year. Judge Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu//Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook/ - Pool/EPA/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius's father Henke Pistorius kisses the hand of his daughter Aimee Pistorius while part of the judgment is handed down in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius's laywer Barry Roux sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Members of the public try to get a glimpse of Oscar Pistorius outside North Gauteng High Court on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Members of the public try to get a glimpse of Oscar Pistorius outside North Gauteng High Court on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Members of the public try to get a glimpse of Oscar Pistorius outside North Gauteng High Court on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Aimee Pistorius, the sister of Oscar Pistorius, leaves North Gauteng High Court for a lunch break on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Aimee Pistorius, the sister of Oscar Pistorius, leaves North Gauteng High Court for a lunch break on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Lois Pistorius and Arnold Pistorius, the aunt and uncle of Oscar Pistorius, leave North Gauteng High Court during the lunch break as Judge Thokozile Masipa considers her verdict on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: Barry Roux, the lawyer of Oscar Pistorius leaves North Gauteng High Court during the break for lunch on September 11, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, comes to an end. Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius's family sit in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/EPA/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Reeva Steenkamp's mother June Steenkamp and uncle Michael Steenkamp sit in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/EPA/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook/ - Pool/EPA/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Reeva Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June Steenkamp at the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is his' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. Judge Masipa has began delivering her verdict. (Photo by Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: udge Thokozile Masipa reads her verdict in the murder trial of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is his' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. Judge Masipa has began delivering her verdict. (Photo by Kim Ludbrook/EPA/Gallo Image/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Reeva Steenkamp's parents June and Barry Steenkamp sit in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/I/EPA/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius stands in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/I/EPA/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/I/EPA/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Kim Ludbrook - Pool/I/EPA/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Judge Thokozile Masipa sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius's brother Carl Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 11: (BY COURT ORDER, THIS IMAGE IS FREE TO USE) Oscar Pistorius sits in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa is due to give her verdict as the six month trial of Olympic double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius comes to an end today. His defence maintained that Mr Pistorius mistook Ms Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder in his home when he fired several shots into his bathroom allegedly in self-defence but killing his girlfriend. (Photo Phill Magakoe - Pool/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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Prosecutors say Judge Thokozile Masipa made an error at Pistorius' trial last year when she acquitted him of murder for killing Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. On being found guilty of culpable homicide, a charge comparable to manslaughter, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Pistorius, 28, was released from jail last month after serving a year in prison and was moved to house arrest at his uncle's mansion. He was not present at Tuesday's hearing.

June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, was inside the wood-paneled courtroom in the central city of Bloemfontein. She sat behind Nel as he presented his arguments. The panel is headed by Judge Lex Mpati, the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the second-highest court in South Africa.

Asking the judges to upgrade Pistorius' conviction to murder, Nel said Masipa didn't correctly apply the law at the culmination of Pistorius' dramatic seven-month trial.

The prosecution's argument rests on a part of South African law known as "dolus eventualis," which calls for a person to be convicted of murder with lesser intent if they foresaw that someone could be killed as a result of their actions, but went ahead anyway.

Prosecutors believe Pistorius knew someone could die when he shot four times through a toilet cubicle door in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, 2013, killing Steenkamp. Pistorius testified he had no intention to kill, and fired out of fear for his life, believing a dangerous intruder was inside the toilet cubicle.

Nel also said Masipa ignored or simply paid "lip service" to some circumstantial evidence against Pistorius at his trial.

The judges, who have studied the tens of thousands of pages of court transcript from Pistorius' trial, interrupted Nel and Roux frequently on Tuesday to question them.

One of the judges pressed Roux on whether Pistorius could not have foreseen that he would kill someone by shooting multiple times through the door of the very small cubicle.

"If you look at the photographs, there's room behind there for a toilet bowl and a person and just about nothing else," Justice Lorimer Leach said. "There's nowhere to hide. It would be a miracle if you didn't shoot someone."

Arguments were scheduled to last just one day and the judges can reach a decision with a simple majority. The judges were not expected to issue their verdict on Tuesday and there is no timeframe for when they will, although the court has said it would aim to release a decision by the end of this month.

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