14 May 2014

South Africa: Judge Masipa Rules That Pistorius Must Receive Psychiatric Evaluation

Photo: Alon Skuy
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius with family and friends at the high court in Pretoria.

A judge has ruled that Oscar Pistorius must undergo psychiatric evaluation. The prosecution had brought forward an application to have the former Olympic sprinter sent to a hospital to test the extent of his disorder.

In a surprise turn on Wednesday, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that Oscar Pistorius be sent for psychiatric evaluation, with an official order to be handed down next week. The evaluation would last a month.

An expert witness had testified on Tuesday that Pistorius, on trial for killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013, suffered from "general anxiety disorder."

"I'm persuaded that the requirement of a reasonable possibility has been met," Masipa said on Wednesday. "This is not about anyone's convenience but whether justice has been served," she added.

On Tuesday, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel had brought forward an application to have Pistorius sent to a hospital to test the extent of his anxiety disorder. Masipa said on Wednesday that ensuring Pistorius was fit to stand trial was essential.

Pistorius admits to having killed Reeva Steenkamp, but says he thought she was an intruder when he shot her through a closed bathroom door. Over the course of the trial, Pistorius has become visibly shaken on more than once occasion and even physically sick.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Deutsche Welle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.