Oscar Pistorius Trial: Week 8, Wednesday 14 May 2014

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Paralympian murder accused Oscar Pistorius will know on Wednesday whether he will be sent for mental observation.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her ruling in an application brought by the State.

It wants Pistorius evaluated according to section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The application follows the testimony of Pistorius’s psychiatrist that he has an anxiety disorder.

The defence opposed the application.

Psychiatrist Dr Merryll Vorster insists Pistorius suffers from an anxiety disorder and that this could have played a part when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

Vorster agreed that general anxiety disorder (GAD) may have played a role during Reeva’s shooting, and that was enough for the state to launch an application to have Pistorius mentally evaluated.

“There is an indication that psychiatric factors or disorder may have played a role if that is so my lady – the matter should be referred for the court to gain the views of experts that have a global view of the case of all the evidence and not only one version,” says state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to rule on the matter on Wednesday morning when the trial resumes.

However, the defence argued that there is no basis for the application.

“The state is wrong on relying on these cases because each case is crying out for a referral. The factual basis does not support the state and it’s just a ruse in order to get a second opinion and it’s simply going nowhere where is the state’s evidence?,” asks Barry Roux.

The state also questions the motive behind Vorster’s late consultations with Pistorius.

It’s understood that she saw Pistorius less than two weeks ago.

“Now there might be reason why that consultation happened at that time. The reason for that my lady, is because the defence may later be seen to put factors before this court and this court never gave the necessary attention. If we get to the appeals court later there may be a question when it was clear that there was a psychiatric condition affected the accused behaviour that morning, why didn’t we do so,” adds Nel.

The state believes it is in the interest of justice for Pistorius to be mentally evaluated.

Some experts agree saying it’s the only way to truly establish the Paralympian’s state of mind on the day of the shooting.

“It’s definitely in the best interest of justice that we continue with a full and clear picture of the actual state of mind of the accused and his actual state of mind while he was testifying because that will have an impact on the weight that he has given to his testimony,” says forensic expert Laurie James.

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