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Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius cleared of girlfriend’s murder

September 11, 2014, 15:36 UTC+3
The prosecution failed to prove the deliberateness of the homicide committed by Pistorius
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PRETORIA, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. When pronouncing the sentence in the case of South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, judge of the High Court of South Africa’s Pretoria Thokozile Masipa has stated that he cannot be found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Earlier, the judge noted that the homicide was inadvertent.

What has Oscar Pistorius done

Overnight to February 14, 2013, Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door in his own house.

The athlete insists that he committed homicide accidentally, mistaking the girlfriend with a thief that, as he believed, broke in the house.

South African media reported that Steenkamp was preparing a surprise for Pistorius to celebrate the occasion, but her boyfriend had mistaken her with a burglar and fired the gun several times.

In February 2013, the athlete was charged with murder. In August 2014, prosecutor Gerry Nel addressed the judge asking to dismiss the arguments of Pistorius’ defense since they were not true. The prosecution insisted on intentional homicide, for which the 27-year-old athlete could be sentenced for 25 years in jail or life imprisonment.

The trial over Steenkamp’s murder lasted for more than a year. The athlete has already sold his house for €315,000 to cover the expenditures for lawyers.

Stress, depression and tendency to suicide

The results of a psychiatric examination of Oscar Pistorius have revealed his tendency to suicide.

Meanwhile, the athlete was ruled sane upon the results of the examination that took about a month. Pistorius was examined by three mental physicians and a psychologist. The examination was intended to reveal whether the athlete realized the hazardousness of his actions in the night the homicide took place.

The report drawn by the mental physicians says Pistorius is a risk group and needs psychiatric treatment. In addition, he suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Earlier, the decision on a medical examination was made upon a prosecutor’s request, after forensic psychiatrist Meryl Foster testified that Pistorius suffered from generalized anxiety disorder, and his response to danger might differ from that of normal people.

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