Lead detective in Oscar Pistorius case faces his own attempted murder charges
Oscar Pistorius’ murder case took a sensational twist Thursday when it was revealed that the chief investigator who analyzed the scene of Reeva Steenkamp’s fatal shooting faces seven counts of attempted murder charges himself.
Hilton Botha, whose stumbling and at times incoherent evidence on day two of Pistorius’ bail hearing gave the Blade Runner’s case a serious boost, was allegedly one of three drunk police officers who opened fire on a mini-bus taxi full of passengers in 2011, according to South Africa’s Eyewitness News.
According to Botha, the shooting took place as part of the investigation into the murder of Denise Stratford, a Girl Scout leader whose body was discovered stuffed into a drain in 2011. Botha and colleagues were tracking the suspect and as part of their inquiries fired at the mini-bus when it failed to pull over when requested.
Botha was arrested at the time due to the charges, which were subsequently dropped, before it emerged Thursday that they had been reinstated.
"There was a decision taken by the director of public prosecution’s office to charge the members, each one of them, with seven counts of attempted murder," said police spokesman Neville Malila. "That was the number of people that were in the taxi."
Botha denied he was drunk during the alleged incident and told South African legal journalist Karyn Maughan on Thursday morning that the reinstatement of the charge is "beyond my comprehension."
"I can only think it is linked to my work on the Oscar Pistorius case," he said.
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