Psychiatrists to decide whether Oscar culpable

 
Frank Dalleres
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PARALYMPIC superstar Oscar Pistorius has been ordered to undergo psychiatric tests following a dramatic twist to the South African’s murder trial.

Judge Thokozile Masipa issued the decree yesterday after the defence argued that Pistorius had an anxiety disorder that may have contributed to him fatally shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

That led the prosecution to demand that the double amputee athlete undergo an urgent mental health assessment, and Judge Masipa agreed despite protests from the defence.

It means a verdict in the trial is now highly unlikely until next month, despite proceedings initially being set to last three weeks when they began in early March.

Pistorius denies murdering law graduate and model Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her in his Pretoria home by mistake thinking she was an intruder.

If found guilty of murder the man known worldwide as Blade Runner, due to the carbon fibre prosthetics he uses on the track, faces possible life imprisonment.

Pistorius, 27, could be held not criminally responsible and therefore not guilty if he is found to have a mental illness.

Judge Masipa adjourned until Tuesday, when she will reveal full details of the referral.