Judge Orders Psychiatric Evaluation for Pistorius

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation by Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is overseeing the protracted murder trial of Pistorius.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 (Valentine’s Day) last year, whom he says he had shot in error under the presumption she was an intruder in their house.

Judge Masipa now has ordered for a psychiatric evaluation, with an ”outpatient” option, based on a request by prosecutor Gerrie Nel after an expert witness of the defense testified that Pistorius had an anxiety disorder, which may have led to him fatally shooting his girlfriend.

The outpatient option for an evaluation was suggested by the judge in order to be seen as punishing the accused twice, since Pistorius was under house arrest and had his international passport revoked at the start of the trial.

The trial has now been adjourned till next Tuesday, which is when the prosecution’s request for a psychiatric evaluation of Pistorius would be formally granted by Judge Masipa.

Pistorius, who is also known as the blade runner, won two gold medals and a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also became the first amputee athlete to compete in able-bodied IAAF competitions, participating at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics.