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17/05/2019 2:25 am  

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Oscar Pistorius murder trial began a new phase Monday when the Olympic athlete arrived at a state psychiatric hospital for a monthlong evaluation whose terms have been described by some as favourable to the double-amputee runner. Simon Mignolet Jersey . Pistorius, who killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home last year, sat in the passenger seat of a black sedan and spoke on a cellphone as he arrived behind a police van at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. The judge who will deliver a verdict in the case asked the hospital to determine if Pistorius had a mental disorder at the time of the shooting, which could affect whether he should be held criminally responsible. Pistorius must arrive by 9 a.m. and can leave by 4 p.m. each weekday, and has weekends off under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa. Pistorius, who is free on bail, has been staying at the upscale Pretoria home of his uncle. Pistorius outpatient status troubles some experts who say 24-hour observation is common in state psychiatric facilities. In the evenings, nursing staff can get additional insights into a patients mental state that complement formal questioning and other tests during the day, say the experts. "There is a benefit" to the after-hours observation, said Lee-Ann Hartman, a clinical psychologist who has worked in state psychiatric facilities. Masipas instruction came after a psychiatrist testified that Pistorius, who has said he feels particularly vulnerable because of his disability and long-held worry about crime, had an anxiety disorder that could have contributed to his shooting of Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013. The judge was responding to a prosecution request for an independent inquiry, based on concern the defence would argue Pistorius was not guilty because of mental illness. Prosecutors allege Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally after a late-night fight, but the athlete says he mistook his girlfriend for a dangerous intruder hiding in a toilet cubicle when he shot her multiple times through the door. There is a long waiting list for observation cases at state psychiatric hospitals and Pistorius assessment will be faster because he does not need a hospital bed, said Gerhard Grundling, chair of the Clinical Psychology Forum, a South African group. He said the observation will likely include blood tests and possible brain scans and that more specialists, including a neurologist, can get involved as needed. Additionally, in such observations, social workers gather "collateral information" in interviews with friends, family and others, according to Grundling. Other trials had been delayed for nearly a year because of patient backlogs at state mental health facilities, said Jack Bloom, an opposition member of the provincial legislature. "Everyone should be equal before the law, no matter how famous," Bloom said, urging authorities to explain the runners "preferential treatment" as an outpatient receiving speedy observation. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. Trial proceedings resume June 30. The high-security Weskoppies hospital was called the Pretoria Lunatic Asylum long ago. Accounts described crowded, unhygienic conditions and staffing shortages there during the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer war, though conditions later improved. In the 1950s, two medical experts at Weskoppies wrote in South Africas medical journal that it was undesirable to house criminal suspects together with mentally ill patients who had not been charged with any crime, but noted the advantage of 24-hour scrutiny. "Under these conditions," they wrote, "any attempt to evade criminal responsibility by simulation of mental disorder is fraught with extreme difficulty." Virgil van Dijk Jersey . After two months of mediocrity, perhaps the Washington Nationals have turned the page. Strasburg struck out 11 in seven innings Wednesday night and the Nationals kept the Philadelphia Phillies bats quiet yet again in an 8-4, rain-interrupted win. Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Jersey . Watching them over the past year - and in some cases, two years - has given us a starting point for this seasons Craigs List.Chad Owens record-breaking season last year broke a string of five consecutive years a quarterback was named Most Outstanding Player; in the last 20 years only four non-QBs have won that distinction. So if youre looking to pick a winner for 2013, the group of eight starting pivots across the league would be a good place to start. Looking down that list, its a veritable whos who of MOP contenders. BCs Travis Lulay is just one year removed from winning the award while Ricky Ray is coming off an outstanding first season with the Argonauts in Toronto, one that culminated in a Grey Cup victory. Henry Burris proved he still has a lot left in the tank in Hamilton and perhaps Alouettes great Anthony Calvillo, in what could be his final season, is saving his best for last. And if he can stay healthy for a full 18 games, Calgarys Drew Tate could certainly have his hat thrown in the riing for MOP consideration. Jordan Henderson Jersey. But more than ever these days, the CFL is built on playmakers, so the MOP award returning to a quarterback this season isnt necessarily a lock. The list of skilled position playmakers is of course topped by Owens, the Argonauts game-changing receiver and return man. Owens has a good chance to make it two MOPs in a row, especially with his main rival for highlights Chris Williams looking like hell sit out the entire season with a contract dispute. And wed be remiss not to mention the other usual suspects that always seem to find their way to the top of the stat sheets, guys like running backs Jon Cornish and Andrew Harris, and receivers Fred Stamps and Weston Dressler. Who is your pre-season favourite to be named 2013 Most Outstanding Player? Youve heard what weve had to say, now its your turn. As always, its Your! Call. 


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