Pistorius must go for mental observation

2014-05-14 10:26
Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AFP)

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What mental observation means for Oscar

2014-05-14 10:18

Judge Masipa has ruled that Oscar Pistorius should undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Criminal law expert William Booth weighs in what this now means for Oscar Pistorius and his ongoing murder trial. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius will be sent for psychiatric observation, the North Gauteng High Court ordered on Wednesday.

"I am satisfied that a case has been laid out... and I shall grant that order," Judge Thokozile Masipa said, granting the State's application.

"A proper inquiry... would ensure that the accused gets a fair trial."

Pistorius stood emotionless as Masipa spoke.

Masipa said she was aware this would cause more delays, but said it was not about convenience but whether justice was served.

She said the idea was not to punish Pistorius and the possibility of him being an out-patient should be investigated.

General anxiety disorder

On Monday, forensic psychiatrist Merryll Vorster told the court Pistorius had general anxiety disorder. Based on this the State applied to have him referred.

Health24: Anxiety Disorders

Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year.

Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

Before court started Pistorius sat in the dock with his head down. Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius spoke to the athlete, then to his uncle Arnold Pistorius before he took his seat and Masipa and her two assessors entered.

Steenkamp's mother June, her cousin, and the Myers family were in court on Wednesday.

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges as well.

Masipa said the specific order would be handed down next Tuesday. Court was adjourned until then.

What this means for Pistorius

Criminal law expert William Booth weighs in what this now means for Oscar Pistorius and his on-going murder trial. Watch.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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