South African court orders Pistorius to undergo mental evaluation

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A South African court on

Wednesday ordered Olympic and Paralympic

track star Oscar Pistorius to undergo

evaluation for mental illness, further delaying

a murder trial that has already stretched into

its 32nd day.

The state had asked for the evaluation after a

psychiatrist told the court this week that

Pistorius, who is on trial for the murder of his

girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, suffered

from an anxiety disorder.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has argued he wanted to

prevent the 27-year-old sprinter, who faces

life in prison if convicted, from later appealing

on the basis of a disturbed mental condition.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux had argued against

the motion, saying it was "premature" to have

the evaluation done now, as he planned to call

other witnesses.

But Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that a mental

assessment would ensure that Pistorius gets a

fair trial.

Masipa said the court would hand down the

details of the assessment on Tuesday, adding it

would be preferable for him to undergo the

evaluation as an outpatient.

Pistorius has denied he killed Steenkamp in

cold blood, saying he shot four times at the

toilet door of his luxury Pretoria home to

protect himself from what he thought was an


Pistorius competed against able-bodied

sprinters on carbon-fibre prosthetics,

becoming one of the most recognised names in

athletics. He won a clutch of Paralympic

medals and reached the semi-finals of the

400m at the London 2012 Olympics.

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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