Oscar Pistorius trial: Ruling due on mental assessment

The judge in the trial of South African

athlete Oscar Pistorius is due to rule on a

prosecution application for him to undergo

a 30-day mental observation.

The request followed testimony from a

psychiatrist who said that Mr Pistorius

suffered from an anxiety disorder.

The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria says

there is now the possibility of a lengthy delay

in the case.

The double-amputee Paralympian denies

intentionally shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva

Steenkamp last year.

Mr Pistorius says he accidentally shot her

through the toilet door in a state of panic,

mistaking the 29-year-old model and law

graduate for an intruder.

Psychiatrist Merryll Vorster told the court that

the athlete had had an anxiety disorder since

childhood and was "anxious" about violent


His actions on Valentine's Day last year

"should be seen in context of his anxiety", she


'Danger to society'

If the prosecution request is granted, Mr

Pistorius may spend up to 30 days in a state

mental health institution for observation and

assessment of his mental health.

The athlete has described the prosecution

move as "a joke", insisting that Monday's

evidence from Dr Vorster had "gone well", our

correspondent says.

But the prosecution argues that her testimony

is further proof that the athlete is changing his

defence – from putative self-defence, to an

accidental shooting, to something now linked

to his state of mind, he says.

The defence opposed the application before

the court adjourned on Monday.

BBC'S correspondent says that court sources

have indicated that it is unlikely that Judge

Thokozile Masipa will grant the prosecution its


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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