Oscar Pistorius Lawyers Fail to Influence Appeal

PHOTO: Oscar Pistorius arrives in court Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 to face sentencing for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.PlayMarco Longari/AP Photo
WATCH Prosecutors Ask for Appeal in Oscar Pistorius Case

Oscar Pistorius' lawyers were unsuccessful Friday in their efforts to influence the prosecution's appeal against his 2014 negligent killing conviction.

Judge Thokozile Masipa -- the trial judge who found Pistorius guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp -- struck from the court roll an application by Pistorius' team asking for permission to argue a particular point when the matter goes on appeal later this year.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 when he fired four shots through a locked bathroom door. Masipa found that he did not intentionally murder her and sentenced him to five years behind bars.

Late last year, the judge granted prosecutors permission to appeal her findings, saying another court might have come to a different conclusion. Under South African law, the state can only appeal a verdict if there are legal questions, not if they dispute the facts of the case. Masipa said at the time of granting leave to appeal that some of her interpretations would have to be ratified by the higher court.

Lawyers for Pistorius told Masipa Friday that they need permission to argue in the the Supreme Court of Appeals that the state's appeal is based on the facts of the case and not on questions of law.

Masipa found Pistorius already has the right to argue this and said she cannot rule on today's application, as it would be tantamount to her reviewing her own ruling.