Oscar Pistorius will be sent for psychiatric evaluation

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Oscar Pistorius will undergo an evaluation.
Oscar Pistorius will undergo an evaluation..

Oscar Pistorius will have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after the judge in his murder trial today granted a request made by the prosecution.

Despite opposition from the athlete's defence team, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that evidence raised by forensic psychiatrist Dr Merryl Vorster - a witness who was called to the stand earlier this week - 'cannot be ignored'.

Dr Vorster, who was anticipated to be one of the last witnesses called by the defence, told the court of how Mr Pistorius was suffering from an anxiety order that can lead the Paralympic sprinter to unnecessarily view his surroundings as unsafe and threatening.

Announcing her decision on day 32 of the trial, Judge Masipa also stated a preference for the accused to be evaluated as an out-patient.

It has not yet been determined where Mr Pistorius will undergo this evaluation or indeed how long it will take, but court has been adjourned until next Tuesday for those decisions to be made.

Mr Pistorius stands accused of the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home in Pretoria last year, as well as the illegal possession of ammunition and two other counts of firing a gun in public. He denies all charges.

If found guilty or murder, he could face life imprisonment.

The trial continues.

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