The murder trial of paralympian star Oscar Pistorius will hear today (Wednesday) if he is to be sent for examination at a mental institution.
The judge in the case will rule today on a prosecution application for the process following evidence by a psychiatrist for the defence that Pistorius suffers from generalised anxiety disorder.
Defence counsel for Oscar Pistorius, Barry Roux argues that in seeking an examination, the state is merely trying to get a psychiatric opinion that it did not produce during the prosecution evidence.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel counters that the court does not have discretion in the matter and that Judge Thokozile Masipa is obliged to grant his application.
If Masipa does this, Pistorius will face 30 days in an institution being observed around the clock by specialist nurses and social workers and examined by psychiatrists appointed by both the state and the defence.
Their finding wouldn’t impact on the court’s ability to convict Pistorius who is not claiming diminished responsibility in the shooting of his lover Reeva Steenkamp at his home on Valentine’s Day last year.
He maintains he fired into the bathroom where she was believing she was an intruder.
If an examination finds no anxiety disorder, Pistorius’ defence that he acted out of fear would be severely compromised.