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The Oscar Pistorius mental evaluation report by a psychologist, banned from publication by the South African high court, appears in graphic detail in at least one local newspaper this weekend, in spite of the court order that banned its publication in the “public domain.”
According to the newspaper that claimed this publication coup, all it took was “an agreement” with the blade-runner’s legal team to be able to publish. The same newspaper also highlights a controversial “secret video” that has surfaced on social media over the weekend.
This morning, the Johannesburg-based City Press ran a front page story titled Inside Oscar’s Mind: Psychiatric Reports Paint a Picture of a Broken Man Who Has Lost Interest in Life. It is these very psychiatric reports – or more specifically one compiled by a psychologist – that were written by specialists who observed Oscar Pistorius for 30 days after a court order required them to ascertain whether or not he had a mental disorder that might have played a part in the murder of Reeva Steenkamp last year. Whilst Pistorius has never denied that he killed his girlfriend Reeva, he maintains that he innocently shot her at point-blank range through a door in his home, thinking she was an intruder.
According to the City Press story, the newspaper’s lawyers “reached an agreement” with the blade runner’s legal team, allowing them to publish details from the psychologist’s report, in spite of the fact that the High Court judge, Tholozile Masipa had ordered otherwise on Thursday. This was hours after the psychologist’s and psychiatrists’ reports had been released to the media, and the judge had ruled that if any media published information after 3 pm on Thursday they would be held in contempt of court. The City Press article published today states that they (City Press) were given permission by Judge Masipa on Friday “to publish a redacted version in terms of the agreement reached.”
The City Press article is short, but links to the psychologist Prof. Jonathan Scholtz’s lengthy report compiled while Oscar Pistorius was under observation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria last month. Scholtz is head of Clinical Psychology at Weskoppies, and just one of four members of the panel that evaluated Pistorius who is currently standing trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. According to the article, the report paints the “picture of a broken man who has lost interest in life.”
The report is in two parts and can be accessed from our City Press link in the sources given below this article. While chunks of the report appear to have been deleted, and therefore not published, most of the report now appears to be accessible to the public, in spite of last week’s court order.
The City Press article also references a controversial secret video reported on earlier by Guardian Liberty Voice, that was due to be aired today by Australia’s Channel Seven Sunday Night program. In a statement issued by Brian Webber, a lawyer representing Oscar Pistorius, he reveals that the video was in fact produced for “trial preparation.” Further, he says it was intended that it would not be used for “any other purpose.”
According to Webber, a U.S. company, The Evidence Room produced the “secret” video prior to the Oscar Pistorius trial, as a “visual mapping” aid. There was never any intention, says Webber, for the material to be aired or broadcast. Its use, he said, was “in breach of the non-disclosure agreement with The Evidence Room.” Further, it was “a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of the family’s privacy,” he said. They, as a law firm, had an undertaking that the Australian channel would not air any of the material it had in its possession prior to trial end. “Whilst we cannot imagine how any of the footage would not support Oscar’s version, we will only be in a position to comment further once we have had the opportunity to study what has been aired.”
This, of course, has no bearing on the publication of the Oscar Pistorius’ psychologist report that was published in spite of last weeks’ court ban, but there is sure to be a repercussion in court when it resumes tomorrow (Monday) morning.
By Penny Swift