Pistorius trial: Athlete's mental state in focus
Judge Thokozile Masipa will rule on Wednesday whether the athlete should be sent for mental observation.
PRETORIA Murder accused Oscar Pist oriuss pers onality was again the f ocus of evidence in c ourt on Tuesday before the state launched its application to have him referred for psychological evaluation.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel lodged his application to have the athlete referred after the defences psychiatrist concluded presenting her testimony.
Professor Merryll Vorster diagnosed the accused with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
The 27-year-old Paralympic and Olympic athlete is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket Pretoria East home on Valentines Day last year.
The Blade Runner says he shot the model by accident, while the state maintains it is a case of premeditated murder.
Vorster said Pistorius's GAD may have had an impact on his actions on the night Steenkamp was killed.
She said the athletes newer friends were people he couldn't confide in.
But she said while he was affected by the anxiety order, he was able to function as a professional athlete and maintain a social life.
Vorster said growing up, Pistorius was always encouraged to be as normal as possible, which would have been stressful because he concealed that he actually had a disability.
The psychiatrist said Pistorius had a heightened concern for security and told her he wanted to move to Johannesburg to be safer, and live in a house with greater security provision.
Judge Thokozile Masipa will decide tomorro w whether or not Pistorius will be sent for mental observation.
Advocate Barry Roux argued that the state simply wanted a second opinion about the athletes mental state, but said this was premature because they would call another expert to testify about Pistoriuss vulnerability.
Nel said the fact that Roux believes that even after another witness is called the state will still apply for this application indicates that he is on the right track.
He said if Pistoriuss anxiety played a role in his actions, then he must be evaluated.
Nel referred to case law, saying if the matter gets to an appeals court, questions will be asked about why nothing was done about the psychological diagnosis.
Roux disagreed, saying it is merely an allegation that Pistorius has a mental illness.
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