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Prosecutor requests independent psychiatric evaluation for Oscar Pistorius

A psychiatrist for the defense testified in court on Monday about the lasting effects of childhood trauma on former Olympian Oscar Pistorius.
By JC Finley   |   May 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM   |   Comments

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 12 (UPI) -- Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial, wants the former Olympic athlete to undergo an independent psychiatric evaluation.

The request comes in response to testimony offered by a psychiatrist Monday that Pistorius suffers from an anxiety disorder brought on by the childhood trauma of a double amputation and unstable parents.

Although Pistorius' defense team has asserted that the amputation amounted to a "traumatic assault," they have not submitted an insanity or capacity defense for Pistorius' actions on February 14, 2013.

Pistorius has admitted he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp but claims that he mistook her for a burglar in the bathroom of his residence.

Psychiatrist Dr. Meryl Vorster testified Monday that Pistorius and his siblings were raised by their mother "to see their external environment as threatening," an upbringing that "added to the anxiety."

The prosecutor's request for an independent mental health exam could delay the trial for more than a month.

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