Oscar Pistorius in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court
in Pretoria. REUTERS/Phill Magakoe/Pool
Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter on trial for
murder for shooting his girlfriend, was not suffering from a
mental condition at the time she was killed, a psychiatric
Pistorius, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics and
Paralympics, has admitted to shooting dead his model
girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but maintains he mistook her for
an intruder hiding in his toilet in an upmarket Pretoria
The trial, which began in March, took a month-long break to
allow the 27-year-old to undergo tests at Pretoria's
Weskoppies hospital after a forensic psychologist brought by
the defence testified he had an anxiety disorder.
The defence has only a few more witnesses to call before the
trial reaches the verdict stage.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said it was important to find out
whether the condition affected his criminal responsibility.
"At the time of the alleged offences, the accused did not
suffer from a mental disorder or mental defect that affected
his ability to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful
nature of his deeds," Prosecutor Gerrie Nel read from a
report submitted to the court.
Both Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux accepted the findings
of a panel of psychiatrists and psychologists after 30 days
During the trial, prosecutors have tried to paint a picture
of a self-obsessed Pistorius who knowingly killed his law
graduate girlfriend as she cowered behind a locked bathroom
door. Pistorius could face a life sentence if found guilty of
the shooting on Valentine's Day last year.
Following the assessment report, Pistorius' defence called
sound expert Ivan Lin, who questioned whether neighbours 177
metres (193 yards) away could have heard screams coming from
the toilet, or identified them as a man or woman.
"At 177 metres away, if the scream was from the toilet, it is
highly unlikely that the listener can hear the screams, let
alone interpret the sound source reliably," he said
Lin's testimony, which is yet to be cross-examined, comes
after state witness and Pistorius neighbour Michelle Burger
testified that she was woken in the middle of the night by
"bloodcurdling screams" from a woman, followed by shots.
Pistorius competed against able-bodied sprinters on
carbon-fibre prosthetics, becoming one of the most recognised
names in athletics. Besides a clutch of Paralympic medals, he
reached the semi-finals of the 400m at the London 2012