Lying in the Sun

Legal Expert Opinion

Legal Expert Opinion

Martin Hood 

I find it very interesting that Gerrie Nel brought this application.  I think it's very much a tactical application, he's done it to drive a wedge between Pistorius and his legal team.  He's done it to highlight the fact that there seems to be a degree of uncertainty in the legal team as to what witnesses are going to say.   I don't think that he really believes that he's going to succeed, but I know that there must have been a huge amount of very  robust debate between Pistorius and his legal team after this application was even first mentioned.  I got the impression that Pistorius went ashen...he runs the risk of being effectively incarcerated in what used to be called an asylum, in the grimmest of conditions.  It's not going to be a nice transition for him.

I would be inclined to agree that it's not likely (that Judge Masipa will grant the application) but we must also bear in mind that the world's media is looking at this trial, and she wants to be as fair and as transparent...and in fact she has to be as fair and as  transparent as possible.

I see no harm or prejudice as we would call it in Law that he be committed that he undergo that observation for the simple reason that if he comes out, and he does have a disorder then it will change the focus of the trial entirely.  In fact it may lead to him effectively having the charges withdrawn against him, and if he comes out and he is regarded as being mentally stable and mentally fit then it will do away with the ground of appeal, so either way I don't see that there is any disadvantage.

13th May 2014

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