The Oscar Pistorius case’s lead detective is facing attempted murder charges and may be taken off the case. The charges stem from when the detective, Hilton Botha, opened fire on a minibus in 2001.
Botha took the stand at Pistorius’ bail hearing Wednesday morning. He is due to appear in court for his own charges in May.
Reuters reports that police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila explained:
“Botha and two other policemen allegedly tried to stop a minibus taxi with seven people. They fired shots.”
At the time, the detective was looking for a murder suspect. The man allegedly killed a woman and chopped her up. He then stuffed her body parts down a drain.
Now that the charges have been filed against Botha, Malila explained that there will be an internal disciplinary investigation. After that, police will decide whether they will keep the detective on Oscar Pistorius’ case or not. Malila added, “At this stage there are no plans to take him off the Pistorius case.”
Prosecutors were apparently not aware of the charges filed against Botha when he took the stand on Wednesday, according to ABC News. The revelation could deal another blow to the prosecution.
Malila also explained that police just learned of the charges on Wednesday, which were reinstated by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The charges were initially dropped after the 2011 shooting incident.
Prosecutors have charged Oscar Pistorius with premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the prosecution, stated that he is not sure how Botha’s attempted murder charges will affect the prosecution’s case against the paralympic runner.
When he took the stand on Wednesday, Hilton Botha offered conflicting testimony. He also conceded that nothing in Pistorius’ account of the Steenkamp shooting contradicted what police have said. Under cross-examination, Botha was accused of contaminating the crime scene and was forced to backtrack on details like the distance of witnesses from Pistorius’ home.
Do you think that Botha should be taken off Oscar Pistorius’ case, because he is facing attempted murder charges?