Oscar Pistorius to undergo 30 days' observation at Weskoppies

2014-05-20 10:51

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The degree to which Oscar Pistorius can be held criminally responsible for killing Reeva Steenkamp is in the hands of a four-person panel of mental health experts.

The North Gauteng High Court today confirmed that Pistorius will spend his 30 days of observation as an outpatient at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.

Judge Thokozile Masipa has also ordered that a record of the trial be made available to the three psychiatrists and a psychologist who will determine the degree of Pistorius’ criminal accountability.

This means that Pistorius’ answers under cross-examination will likely form part of his evaluation.

The move to send Pistorius for observation comes at the insistence of state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who said that defence witness Professor Merryll Vorster had given evidence that Pistorius may have limited criminal capacity.

Vorster testified that she had diagnosed Pistorius with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

Pistorius’ advocate, Barry Roux, opposed the move, but Masipa ruled that it was necessary that the athlete be sent for observation.

The trial has been postponed until June 30, to allow for the mental health evaluation.

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