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Oscar cop facing attempted murder charges

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IOL news feb 21 South Africa Pistorius Shooting

AP

Investigating officer Hilton Botha sits in the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Johannesburg - The investigating officer in the Oscar Pistorius murder case has seven charges of attempted murder against him, the police confirmed on Thursday.

“Yes. It is one case with seven charges of attempted murder,” said Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila.

He said detective Hilton Botha was first charged back in 2009 but the charges were then provisionally withdrawn. The matter was then referred to the director of public prosecutions (DPP).

“It was only yesterday [Wednesday] that we were informed by the DPP that he is being charged,” he said.

Botha is the investigating officer in the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, who was allegedly killed by paralympian Pistorius on Valentine's Day.

According to Eyewitness News, the charges are related to a shooting incident which occurred while Botha was allegedly drunk.

It is alleged that three policemen, including Botha, were drunk while driving a state vehicle when they opened fire on a minibus taxi loaded with passengers. 

The EWN report quoted Malila as saying: “There was a decision taken by the DPP’s office to charge the members, each one of them with seven counts of attempted murder. That was the number of people that were in the taxi.”

The detective and two other officers are due to appear in court in May, EWN said.

Malila said there were no plans to pull Botha off the Pistorius case.

“The member is innocent until proven guilty. The member was chosen by the station to do the investigation due to the fact that he is a senior,” Malila was quoted as saying. - Sapa, IOL

Read this afternoon's edition of The Star newspaper which has an interview with Hilton Botha about the murder charges against him. 


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