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New detective assigned to Pistorius case

Published on Feb 22, 2013 6:11 AM
South African police Detective Hilton Botha arrives on Feb 20, 2013, at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria for South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing. Botha was taken off the Pistorius case after it emerged he faced seven charges of attempted murder. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PRETORIA (AFP) - South African police assigned a top new detective on Thursday to take over the bungled Oscar Pistorius investigation after it emerged the lead officer faced seven charges of attempted murder, dramatically undermining the prosecution against the sprint star.

"We recognise the significance, the importance and the severity of the matter," police commissioner Riah Phiyega said as she announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo. "This matter will receive attention at the national level."

The charges against detective Hilton Botha further embarrassed the prosecution, which has seen its evidence repeatedly picked apart during the bail hearing for Pistorius over the Valentine's Day killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius says he mistook his 29-year-old model girlfriend for an intruder and denies murdering her intentionally.

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