London 2012

Hilton Botha dropped from Pistorius case as he faces his own attempted murder charges

Last Updated: 21/02/13 11:48am

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Hilton Botha: Dropped as lead investigator in the Pistorius case

Hilton Botha: Dropped as lead investigator in the Pistorius case

South African police have confirmed the lead investigator has been dropped from the Oscar Pistorius case after claims he is facing seven counts of attempted murder himself.

Police Brigadier Neville Malila said on Wednesday morning that Hilton Botha is due to appear in court in May, saying Botha and two other police officers fired shots while trying to stop a mini-van in an incident in October 2011.

The twist came ahead of the third day of Pistorius' bail hearing after the double-amputee Olympian was charged with the premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Medupe Simasiku, of the National Prosecution Agency, said prosecutors were unaware of the charges against Botha when they put him up in court to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail.

Pistorius has admitted shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars, who were in the bathroom.

Botha prompted laughter in court on Wednesday when he claimed Pistorius was a flight risk and was forced to admit that the prosecution had no evidence to challenge his claim that he killed his girlfriend accidentally, as well as to a number of police blunders in the investigation.

Pistorius said he opened fire in the dark because he was too scared to turn a light on and when he realised his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs where she died.

A decision on whether he will be granted bail could be made today.

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