Updated 04 August 2014

Pistorius has no mental defects

The panel has found that Oscar Pistorius does not have a mental disorder that affects his ability to distinguish between right or wrong.

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius does not suffer mental defects that could influence his behaviour, prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

He was summarising the findings of a panel of three psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist who observed the murder-accused athlete for 30 days at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital following a court order. Pistorius was a day patient.

"The panel has provided reports and they will be handed over to court. A mental disorder did not affect his ability to distinguish between right or wrong," said Nel.

On May 20, the court ruled that Pistorius's evaluation would inquire if he was "at the time of the commission of the offence criminally responsible" and if he could appreciate the "wrongfulness of his actions and act according to that appreciation".

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that Pistorius would be evaluated to determine whether his general anxiety disorder and his disability had an effect on him when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius is charged with Steenkamp's murder. He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him.

Read more:

Why was Oscar vomiting?
What is the police psychologist looking for in Oscar's testimony?
The failure of forensics, and amateur psychobabble*

Image: Oscar Pistorius arriving at court, Themba Hadebe / AP file




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