Pistorius ‘had no mental disorder’

By BBC

Oscar Pistorius did not have a mental disorder when he killed his girlfriend, a psychological report said as his murder trial resumed.

This means the Olympic athlete was criminally responsible for his actions when he shot her, the prosecution said.

The defence team has said Mr Pistorius was suffering from an anxiety disorder.

The athlete denies deliberately killing Reeva Steenkamp. He says he shot her accidentally in a state of panic after mistaking her for an intruder.

The prosecution says Mr Pistorius deliberately killed Ms Steenkamp following an argument.

Both prosecution and defence have accepted the results of the psychological report.

Before the case was adjourned until Tuesday, the defence called acoustic expert Ivan Lin to give evidence in the hope of discrediting prosecution witnesses who said they heard the scream of a woman on the night Ms Steenkamp was killed.

Earlier, the court heard from Dr Gerry Versfeld, who amputated Mr Pistorius’ legs when he was just 11 months old. He was born without the fibulas in both of his legs but went on to become an Olympic athlete.

Dr Versfeld testified about the impact of the disability on Mr Pistorius, 27, and to what extent he can walk without his prosthetic legs.

The defence is expected to finish presenting its evidence in the next few days.

Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, was shot through a toilet door at Mr Pistorius’ house in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year.

The couple had been dating for three months.

“Mr Pistorius did not suffer from a mental illness or defect that would have rendered him criminally not responsible for the offence charged,” said state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, reading from the psychologist report.

The prosecution requested the evaluation after a defence witness said the double amputee was suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (Gad).

Mr Pistorius, 27, underwent a month of tests as an outpatient at Weskoppies psychiatric hospital in Pretoria.

He has often displayed his emotions during the trial, and has sobbed and vomited in court.

There are no juries at trials in South Africa, so the athlete’s fate will ultimately be decided by the judge, assisted by two assessors.

If found guilty of murder, Mr Pistorius, who went on trial on 3 March this year, could face life imprisonment. If he is acquitted of that charge, the court will consider an alternative charge of culpable homicide, for which he could receive about 15 years in prison.

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