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Prosecutors Seek Mental Evaluation for Pistorius

  • VOA News

Oscar Pistorius listens to psychiatric evidence for his defense during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, May 13, 2014.

Oscar Pistorius listens to psychiatric evidence for his defense during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, May 13, 2014.

Prosecutors at the trial of South African runner Oscar Pistorius have called for him to undergo a mental evaluation, after a defense witness said he had an anxiety disorder.

If granted by the court, the request for a 30-day psychiatric evaluation could delay Pistorius' murder trial.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said she would rule on the request on Wednesday.

Earlier, a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Merryll Vorster, testified that Pistorius had General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), a chronic condition that causes fear and worry.

Defense lawyers could use her testimony to bolster their claim that the runner's shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year was accidental. The athlete says he thought he was shooting at an intruder when he fired shots through a closed bathroom door in his home.

Prosecutors argue Pistorius shot Steenkamp intentionally after a heated argument.

If convicted, the athlete could face life in prison.

Pistorius is known as the "blade runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. In 2012, he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
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