Pistorius’ murder trial to resume after mental health tests completed

 

The trial of six-time Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius will resume on Monday (June 30) after he completed a month-long psychiatric assessment.

Pistorius has been attending the Weskoppies hospital in Pretoria every weekday since May 26.

His final visit to the hospital was yesterday.

The assessment was ordered by trial judge Thokozile Masipa, following a request by the prosecution, after psychiatrist Merryll Vorster told the court the athlete has generalised anxiety disorder.

He is accused of the premeditated murder of his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

Pistorius denies deliberately killing her, saying he thought there was an intruder in his home when he fired four shots through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home.

One of the psychiatrists who evaluated Pistorius has reportedly suffered a heart attack, but the resumption of the trial is not expected to be delayed.

The 27-year-old athlete has been assessed by three psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist for seven hours a day over the last month to determine what effect, if any, his state of mind had on him when he shot Steenkamp.

Psychiatrist Vorster told his murder trial last month that the Paralympic champion is a “distrusting and guarded” person who is “hyper-vigilant” about security.

Pistorius’ lawyers had tried to block him undergoing the assessment, calling the request “manifestly absurd”.

The result of the mental health evaluation is expected to be revealed to the court on Monday.

Proceedings, including adjournments, are nearing their fourth month, with the trial having begun on March 3.

This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.

 

 

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