Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius will not be present at the appeal to have his culpable homicide conviction changed to murder Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius's lawyers will be back in a South African court to defend the Paralympian against an appeal to have his manslaughter conviction for killing Reeva Steenkamp increased to murder and him returned to prison.

Just two weeks after Pistorius was released from jail to serve the rest of his five year jail term under house arrest, state prosecutors will argue at the supreme court that the judge in the original trial last October was wrong to convict the athlete of culpable homicide after he shot his girlfriend four times through a locked door at his home in Pretoria in February 2013.

Pistorius denied murdering Steenpkamp, arguing he believed he was shooting at an intruder who broke into his home and feared for his safety at the time. Prosecutors will argue that Pistorius must be convicted of murder on the basis of being held responsible for "foreseeable consequences of their actions", meaning he intended to murder whoever he believed was behind the door.

A panel of five judges will be present at court and could either order a retrial, convict Pistorius of murder, or throw out the prosecution's appeal. Pistorius himself will not be present at the one-day hearing in Bloemfontein, 250 miles (400km) south-west of Johannesburg.

If the appeal to have his culpable homicide conviction overturned is successful, the 28-year-old could return to jail and face a sentence of at least 15 years. The judges are expected to take several weeks to reach their decision following the one-day hearing.

Steenkamp
Pistorius denied deliberately killing Steenkamp during the six-month trial Getty

Under South African law, anyone who receives a jail term of under five years or less can apply to be released under house arrest if they have served a sixth of their sentence. Pistorius has not been seen in public since his release from prison and is serving his house arrest at his uncle's home in a wealthy suburb of Pretoria.

The family of Steenkamp previously said they do not believe 10 months in prison is sufficient jail time for Pistorius during his original parole hearing.

In a statement they added: "We have forgiven Mr Pistorius even though he took the life of our precious daughter Reeva. As her family, we do not seek to avenge her death and we do not want Mr Pistorius to suffer; that will not bring her back to us.

"However a person found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for their actions. Statistics show that our society is under continuous attack from criminals and murderers. Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough. We fear that this will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent it should."