Pretoria, May 27 (): South African Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius arrived Monday morning to a state psychiatric hospital to start his period of mental assessment as ordered by the judge at his trial.
Seated in the passenger seat of a black sedan car, Pistorius reached the hospital speaking on a cellphone. His car followed by a police van passed through the security gates of Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. Pistorius did not talk to the reporters when he entered through the hospital gate.
Tight security was put up at the public hospital’s entrance as the patients of the hospital often come from poor backgrounds.
The Paralympic athlete is on trial on the deadly murder of his model girlfriend Reena Steenkamp. Reena was shot dead on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2013 at Pistorius’ home.
The murder trial on Pistorius started on 3rd March, the trial got postponed till June 30 to permit a full psychiatric assessment to be conducted on him.
After a month long trail, the 27-year-old athlete was ordered by Judge Thokozile Masipa to be kept under observation of a four-strong group of mental fitness experts at Pretoria’s Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital. The Judge ordered to start the mental assessment on May 26 morning. Being treated as an outpatient at the hospital, he must arrive the hospital by 9am every morning for a month.
Prosecutors claim Pistorius shot her 29-year-old girlfriend Reena Steenkamp intentionally through the toilet door of his house after late-night fight.
His murder trial has grabbed global attention. The state claims that the murder was planned and if he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
The judge said Oscar Pistorius would be tested to understand “whether he was capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act or acting in accordance with appreciation of the wrongfulness of his act”.
Pistorius, famously known as “blade runner” for using carbon-fiber prosthetic legs for running, was the first double-amputee to contest in the 2012 Olympic games in London.