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Officer in Pistorius case facing 7 attempted murder charges: Police

Published on Feb 21, 2013 2:16 PM
Investigating officer Hilton Botha, sits inside the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the Feb 14 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The bail hearing continues. -- FILE PHOTO : AP

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - The lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius murder case is himself facing seven attempted murder charges for shooting at a taxi in 2009 to try to stop it, police said Thursday.

"We were only informed yesterday that attempted murders charges against Hilton Botha have been reinstated," said police spokesman Neville Malila.

Malila said the charges were initially brought against investigating officer Botha in 2009, but later withdrawn.

It is not clear whether he will continue working on the case.

On Wednesday, Botha's evidence came under scrutiny from Pistorius' defence team, forcing him to admit to multiple errors in the case, including not wearing protective clothing when attending to the athlete's house, where the shooting happened.

Under cross-examination, Botha was forced to admit that Pistorius's version of the early morning shooting last Thursday fitted the crime scene, weakening the state's claim that the killing was premeditated.