The lead investigator in the murder case against Oscar Pistorius is facing attempted murder charges of his own. Prosecutors said they were unaware there were charges levied against Hilton Botha when they put him on the stand on Wednesday.
Botha was involved with a shooting in 2011 where he and two other police officers fired at a minibus in an attempt to get it to stop. He is scheduled to appear in court in May and is looking at seven counts of attempted murder.
Botha’s potentially checkered past is yet another blow to the prosecution. According to USA Today, Police Brig. Neville Malila said that police first learned that the charges against Botha and the two other officers had been reinstated on Wednesday, the same day that Botha was in court to testify against Pistorious’ application for bail. The Director of Public Prosecutions had initially dropped the charges after the minibus incident.
It is unclear how this development will affect the case against Pistorious. The Olympian has said he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder and that her shooting was accidental. Prosecutors say Pistorius intentionally killed the model and have charged him with premeditated murder.
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While testifying, Botha offered often confused testimony and conceded that nothing in Pistorius' account of the Steenkamp shooting was vastly different from the police's version. Apparently Botha also was the lead investigator in an assault claim against Pistorius in 2009. Lawyers for the athlete have said that police arrested him and held him overnight at a police station during that investigation. Pistorius’ lawyers said they will pursue a wrongful arrest suit based on that incident.
South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said that Botha should be dropped from the case but did acknowledge that the timing of the reinstatement of the charges against the investigator were “totally weird.”
Update: He has been dropped.
Source: (USA Today)