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Oscar Pistorius trial may be delayed for 1 month if Paralympian sent for psychiatric tests

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 10:38am IST | Agency: ANI

London: The murder trial of Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius may reportedly be delayed for up to a month as the double amputee athlete faces having to undergo psychiatric tests.

This came after state prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the defendant's mental health should be examined more fully after forensic psychiatrist Merryl Vorster claimed that Pistorius has generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), and is a 'distrusting and guarded' person who is 'hyper-vigilant' about security.

According to Sky News, if Pistorius is found to be suffering from a mental illness, he cannot be held not criminally responsible for his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's death and may be found not guilty by reason of 'mental illness or intellectual disability'.

With the law allowing a person to undergo mental health observation for up to 30 days, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that argued it in the interests of justice that if there was any suggestion psychiatric factors had played a part in the killing, then the accused should be sent for observation.

However, the report mentioned that Pistorius' defence team said the application had 'no merit' and was 'premature'.

The judge has adjourned the trial to consider the prosecution's application, and will announce her decision on Wednesday, the report added. 

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