The murder trial of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has taken on a new guise with the Olympic athlete travelling to a psychiatric hospital west of Pretoria every weekday for the next month.
He’s being evaluated by a team of psychologists and psychiatrists to determine if he had a mental disorder when he shot dead is lover Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
To hide from the media swarming outside the Weskoppies Psychiatric hospital, Oscar Pistorius arrives in a vehicle with smoked glass windows.
There’s criticism of his being treated as an outpatient.
Some experts say 24-hour observation would allow nursing staff to get additional insights into a patient’s mental state that complement formal questioning and other tests during the day.
Judge Thokkozile Masipa asked for this be arranged because she doesn’t want to the evaluation to be punitive.
The accused arrives at nine am and may leave at four pm.
He has weekends off.
Masipa’s asked the hospital to determine if Pistorius had a mental disorder at the time of the shooting, which could affect whether he should be held criminally responsible.
Her instruction follows a psychiatrist’s testimony that Pistorius has an anxiety disorder that could have contributed to his shooting Steenkamp.
She was responding to a prosecution request for an independent inquiry, based on concern the defence would argue Pistorius was not guilty because of mental illness.