Oscar Pistorius's family thanks judge for not guilty verdict

Pistorius's family thanks judge for verdict
Oscar Pistorius's family release a statement expressing their gratitude towards Judge Thokozile Masipa for finding the Paralympian not guilty of murder.

Oscar Pistorius's uncle Arnold has admitted that a "big burden" has been lifted off their shoulders after the Paralympic champion was cleared of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that the state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to kill the South African model at his home in Pretoria on February 14 last year.

However, the double amputee has been found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) and of one firearms charge.

Arnold Pistorius told the media in the High Court: "On behalf of the family, we would really like to show how deep and how grateful we are to Judge Thokozile Masipa who has found Oscar not guilty of murder - that's a big burden off our shoulders.

"It will be highly inappropriate to make any further statements at this stage regarding merit of the case and findings of the court. We respect the fact that the legal process is not over and must always be run in the course of justice.

"Furthermore, a tragic event like this, there are no victors in this. We as a family remain deeply affected by the devastating tragedy. It won't bring Reeva back, but our hearts still go out for her family and friends."

Pistorius, who maintained that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four gunshots through a toilet door at his home, will be sentenced on October 13.

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates Court for an indictment hearing on August 19, 2013
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