Everything you need to know about the Oscar Pistorius verdicts

Thursday 11 September 2014 14:00

Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty of the murder - premeditated or otherwise - of Reeva Steenkamp.

But he could still be found guilty of culpable homicide by Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa tomorrow. On Thursday, Judge Masipa said Pistorius had acted "too hastily and used excessive force" before court was adjourned for the day.

Why was Pistorius cleared of murder?

While Judge Masipa told the Pretoria High Court Pistorius was a "very poor" and "evasive" witness, she said this did not mean he was guilty of murder.

The judge said prosecutors had not managed to prove the athlete intended to kill his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013 - or any imagined intruder.

"The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder," Judge Masipa said. "There are just not enough facts to support such a finding."

The judge also ruled out dolis eventualis, also known as common murder, saying Pistorius did not forsee the death of someone as a possibility on the night he killed Ms Steenkamp.

"Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this as a possibility that he would kill the person behind the door - let alone the deceased - as he thought she was in the bedroom," Judge Masipa told the courtroom.

How did Pistorius react?

Pistorius sobbed in the dock as he was cleared of premeditated murder, a charge which he would have faced at least 25 years in jail for.

What happens now?

The judge could still rule Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide, a less serious charge which could still carry up to 15 years in prison. Alternatively he could be acquitted entirely.

More: Thokozile Masipa: The woman with Pistorius's fate in her hands
More: Why today is as much about Reeva Steenkamp as Oscar Pistorius