Judge Orders Pistorius Should Undergo Mental Evaluation

The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ordered the South African athlete should undergo a mental evaluation.

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel reportedly made the referral application on Tuesday after forensic psychiatrist Merryll Vorster said earlier that the Paralympian was suffering from a Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Prosecution argued that psychiatric test were essential and Pistorius should be referred as the condition could have affected him on the night he murdered Reeva Steenkamp.

The council to the defence vigorously opposed the move.

Oscar Pistorius Requires Mental Evaluation, Says Judge.
Oscar Pistorius Requires Mental Evaluation, Says Judge.

Thokozile Masipa ruled that psychiatric evidence before the court could not replace “a proper enquiry” into Pisrtorius’ mental health.

She added that the South African criminal code stipulates that if an accused person is alleged not to be criminally responsible or is alleged to be mentally unstable, he requires evaluation.

Masipa said such evaluation is to ensure the accused gets a fair trial, adding it would be “preferable” for him to undergo the evaluation as an outpatient.

The trial, which began in March, is now expected to face a lengthy delay, as the double amputee could be evaluated for a minimum of 30 days at a psychiatric faculty.

Pistorius denies intentionally killing his girlfriend on February 14, 2013. He says he accidentally shot her through the toilet door, mistaking her for an intruder.

Steenkamp, was a model, reality TV celebrity and law graduate.

Follow the BBC News Africa Correspondents’ Coverage of the Oscar Pistorius Trial Live from Pretoria

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