Conflict & Tragedy
Stunning shift in Pistorius case - lead detective facing attempted murder charges
The shocking murder case of Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius has taken an even more shocking turn, if that is possible. The lead detective is now facing his own murder charges.
One day after giving confusing testimony in a Pretoria, South Africa courtroom, where he said they could not prove the accused didn't shoot his girlfriend by accident as he has insisted -- causing the prosecution team’s jaw to drop -- seven counts of attempted murder charges are now being re-instated against Hilton Botha.
Botha had also admitted to bungling other areas of the case -- like losing track of illegal weapons found at Pistorius's home; leaving a 9mm slug fired, in the toilet and contaminating the crime scene by walking over the home without protective shoes on.
The murder case against double amputee Pistorius is just in the bail hearing phase and already there seems to be more twist and turns than an entire trial. The prosecution has chosen to re-instate a shooting murder charge against Botha and have asked that he be removed from the case.
The murder charges reportedly stem from a 2011 incident where he and two other officers were accused of opening fire on a minibus. The timing of the re-instated charges seems extremely odd but Bulewa Makeke, spokesperson for the prosecution team, claimed it was already in motion since Feb. 4th, before Pistorius was arrested for the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14.
Which begs the question, why did the prosecution allow Botha to lead the investigation if they knew the case against him was going to be re-opened?
Makeke reportedly said Botha was not prosecuted before because of a lack of evidence but that there is now sufficient evidence to go ahead with the case. Though they are requesting Botha be removed from the case, they also stress it is up to the police whether he stays or goes.
It seems to get stranger as the presiding judge, Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair reportedly asked the defense lawyer Barry Roux on Thursday: “Do you think there will be some level of shock if the accused is released?”
To which Roux allegedly replied: “I think there will be a level of shock in this country if he is not released.”
The defense also pointed to autopsy results that showed that Steenkamp's bladder was empty. This Roux said, shows his client was telling the truth and that his girlfriend had gotten up to use the bathroom. Adding that she probably got scared and hid in the back powder room when she heard Pistorius frantically shouting at the intruder he thought had entered the home.
To add to his confusing testimony on Thursday, Botha was raked over the coals about the slow processing of Pistorius' phone records. His testimony of a 2009 incident he had investigated, where an old girlfriend of Pistorius had accused him of assaulting her, did not help the prosecution for he said the woman had lied about the injury.
Though the prosecution case looks like it's unraveling, there is still some strong evidence against the accused. According to live CNN reporting from South Africa, Pistorius's claim of not realizing Steenkamp wasn't beside him when he got up does not hold up, for the gun used was kept on his girlfriend side of the bed.
Moreover, he had to pass by her twice to get to the bathroom. Then there was the case of the cellphone that Reeva took with her to the bathroom. Why did she take her phone if she was simply going to use the toilet?
Meanwhile the bail hearing has been suspended until Friday and the 26-year-old Pistorius is back in his cell.
USA Today is now reporting that lead detective Hilton Botha has been replaced by top investigator Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo. Will bring you more when it becomes available.
Click on the links within the article, below and the attached video for more.