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Worldcrunch

Twist In Pistorius Case - Lead Detective Faces Attempted Murder Charges

EYEWITNESS NEWS, JACARANDA NEWS, NEWS24 (South Africa), TWITTER

Worldcrunch

PRETORIA- It has emerged that the lead investigating officer in the Oscar Pistorius case is facing seven counts of attempted murder himself, according to Eyewitness News.

Pistorius, the legendary paralympian accused of shooting his girlfriend to death, is back in court Thursday as a bail hearing continued. But the focus dramatically shifted to Hilton Botha, the top detective at the shooting scene in the South African capital in the early hours one week ago.

According to News24, police detective Botha faces a court hearing in May on seven counts of attempted murder linked to a 2009 incident. Along with two other officers, Botha is accused of going on a drunken rampage, and firing shots at a minibus taxi carrying seven people.

The police spokesman for the Gauteng province, Colonel Neville Malila said Thursday that: “It was only yesterday [Wednesday] that we were informed ... that (Botha) is being charged.”

According to Jacaranda News, Malila said that the decision to drop Botha from the Pistorius case has not been made although other reports are already claiming that he has been dropped already. 

When the details emerged, Botha told Eyewitness News that “my blood was never tested for alcohol in the aftermath of the shooting. I wasn’t drunk.” He claimed that shots were fired at the taxi after it “tried to push us off the road”. He was first charged in 2009 and then the charges were provisionally withdrawn. The matter was referred to the prosecutor's office, and he is due to appear in court with the other officers in May, says Eyewitness News.

Pistorius at the London Olympics - Jim Thurston

This will no doubt complicate the Pistorius case, as prosecutor Gerrie Nel claims he did not know about these charges when he called Botha to the stand on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning, Botha wished not to appear in the court room but Justice Nair called him in, saying his presence was necessary to his plans for the day's proceedings. This is the third day of the hearing determining whether medal-winning Pistorius will be granted bail.

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