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South African detective taken off Pistorius case: Media

Published on Feb 21, 2013 11:12 PM
 
South African investigating officer Hilton Botha attends the bail hearing of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on Feb 21, 2013. Botha was taken off the case after it emerged he was facing attempted murder charges, South African media said on Thursday, citing chief of police Riah Phiyega. -- PHOTO: AFP

JOHANNESBURG (REUTERS, AFP) - The lead investigator in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial was taken off the case after it emerged he was facing attempted murder charges, South African media said on Thursday, citing chief of police Riah Phiyega.

A new senior detective had been appointed after it emerged the police officer leading the probe faced attempted murder charges.

"We recognise the significance, the importance... and the severity of the matter," police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega said, announcing that the case had been assigned to a lieutenant general.

Meanwhile, on a day of high drama in the courtroom, the bail hearing of Pistorius was postponed till Friday. The magistrate overseeing the hearing had cleared the court on Thursday, saying there was a "threat" outside the building after being handed a piece of

paper.

Pistorius was hurried out of the court, but returned five minutes later and the bail hearing resumed.