PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The judge overseeing the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday ordered the double-amputee athlete to undergo psychiatric tests, meaning that the trial proceedings will be delayed.
The decision by Judge Thokozile Masipa followed a request for a psychiatric evaluation by the chief prosecutor, Gerrie Nel. The prosecutor had said he had no option but to ask for it after an expert witness for the defense testified that Pistorius had an anxiety disorder that may have influenced his judgment when he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Masipa said the court was “ill-equipped” to assess the diagnosis by Dr. Merryll Vorster, and should therefore send Pistorius for a period of evaluation. She said it was important to assess the Olympic runner’s state of mind because of questions raised by the prosecution that Pistorius might argue he was not criminally responsible because of his anxiety disorder.
“The accused may not have raised the issue that he was not criminally responsible at the time of the incident in so many words, but evidence led on his behalf clearly raised the issue and cannot be ignored,” the judge said.
Masipa noted that having Pistorius evaluated as an outpatient would be preferable as the referral for psychiatric analysis was not meant to punish him, and acknowledged that trial proceedings would be delayed for an unspecified amount of time.
“This is not about anyone’s convenience, but rather about whether justice has been served,” said Masipa, adding that she would provide details about her decision in court on Tuesday.
Nel, the prosecutor, had previously referred to a period of 30 days for a psychiatric evaluation. Any panel of experts that assesses Pistorius would likely take additional time to compile a report and submit it to the court. The trial started March 3.
Pistorius says he killed Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013 by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in his home. The prosecution says the Olympic runner killed her after an argument.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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