Prosecutors appeal Pistorius conviction, sentence

Pretoria, South Africa ( - Prosecutors have appealed the conviction and sentence given to South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius.

Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison on Oct. 21 for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Judge Thokozile Masipa had acquitted Pistorius of murder but found him guilty of culpable homicide in September.

Prosecutors described the five-year sentence as "shockingly light and inappropriate" in appeal papers filed by South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority Tuesday at the High Court in Pretoria.

Under South African law, Pistorius will have to serve at least one-sixth of his sentence -- 10 months -- before he can ask to be considered for parole.

Prosecutors have said they believe Pistorius should have been found guilty of murder. He would face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted of murder on appeal.

Steenkamp was killed by Pistorius on Feb. 14, 2013 in the bathroom of his home.

Pistorius maintained the shooting was an accident, believing he was firing into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution countered that the double- amputee runner knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom and fired four shots after the two had argued during the evening.

Judge Masipa ruled that prosecutors did not prove that he shot Steenkamp intentionally.

Steenkamp, who was 29 years old, was a model and reality television star in South Africa.

Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," made history at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Games. He had both legs amputated before he was a year old after being born without fibula bones and runs on prosthetic blades.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had initially said that his prosthetics were considered technical aids and in violation of an IAAF rule. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport later overturned that decision, making him eligible to compete against able-bodied runners.

Pistorius qualified for South Africa's Olympic team in 2012 and competed in the 400-meter race, reaching the semifinals, and the 1,600-meter relay.