Connect to share and comment

Oscar Pistorius case gets new lead investigator after his own attempted murder charges emerged (VIDEO)

The lead investigator in the case against Oscar Pistorius was taken off the case after it was revealed the officer himself faces multiple murder charges.

Hilton BothaEnlarge
South African investigating officer Hilton Botha attends on February 19, 2013 the bail hearing of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The lead detective on the Oscar Pistorius case is being replaced after it emerged he himself is facing attempted murder charges.

National Commissioner Riah Phiyega says Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo will take over the investigation from detective Hilton Botha, reports AP.

Pistorius is accused of the shooting murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14.

Phiyega called Moonoo South Africa police's "top detective" and said he will ''gather a team of highly skilled and experience detectives.''

Botha — who also was the lead investigator in an assault claim against Pistorius in 2009 — appeared at Pretoria magistrates court for both days of Pistorius' bail hearing.

The National Prosecuting Authority said that given charges against Botha, he "cannot continue," as prosecutors oppose bail for the troubled Paralympic and Olympic track star.

South African prosecutors are arguing that Pistorius is guilty of premeditated murder in Steenkamp's death, a charge that could carry a life sentence.

CBS cited Police Brig. Neville Malila as saying Thursday that Botha was scheduled to appear in court in May on seven counts of attempted murder. 

Botha and two other police officers allegedly fired shots over what the Guardian cited as news reports as calling a "drunken incident," in which he and two other police officers were accused of firing shots to stop a minivan.

The Globe and Mail reported that Botha had been chasing a man accused of murdering a woman, chopping her up and stuffing the body parts down a drain.

The Guardian cited prosecutors as saying that they were unaware of the charges against Botha before putting him on the stand on Wednesday to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his address in court Thursday by saying the attempted murder charges against Botha only became known to him yesterday.

The prosecution team appearing at the third day of Pistorius' bail hearing Thursday included Captain Mike Van Aardt, well known for his work in Johannesburg.

Van Aardt is credited with tracking down three serial killers — notably a 30-year-old named Richman Makhwenkwe who murdered five people and raped four.

The other two are Simon Majola and Themba Nkosi, who murdered eight men and dumped their corpses in Bruma lake.

Several new organizations again live blogged the hearing Thursday, including the Guardian and Telegraph.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/130221/lead-investigator-oscar-pistorius-Hilton-Botha-murder-charges-video