Gerrie Nel, a South African prosecutor has requested that a mental evaluation be carried out on Olympian and Paralympic star, Oscar Pistorius after a psychiatrist told the court that the track star had suffered an anxiety disorder.
In his argument, Prosecutor Nel said he wants to prevent the 27-year-old sprinter, who faces life in prison if convicted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, from later appealing on the basis of a disturbed mental condition.
He told the court there was a “reasonable possibility” that Pistorius suffers from a mental illness, adding that without a proper evaluation the case could later be appealed over Pistorius’ mental health.
If granted, the evaluation would likely further delay a trial now in its 31st day. Defence lawyer, has however argued against the motion, saying it was “premature” to have the evaluation done now, as he planned to call other witnesses.
Judge Thokozile, the presiding judge in the murder trial, adjourned the case to Wednesday, May 14 in order to consider the prosecutor’s request.