Pistorius detective facing attempted murder charges

PRETORIA Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:07am GMT

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

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PRETORIA (Reuters) - The lead detective in Oscar Pistorius' murder case is facing attempted murder charges for opening fire at a minibus containing seven people, a South African police spokesman said on Thursday.

Brigadier Neville Malila said Hilton Botha, who took the stand against Pistorius at a bail hearing this week, is due to appear in court in May.

Domestic news service SAPA said Botha was accused of shooting at the minibus in 2009 when it failed to heed his orders to stop, although the charges were later provisionally withdrawn.

The charges were reinstated on Wednesday, Malila said, without providing further details.

Under cross-examination at the paralympic star's bail hearing on Wednesday, Botha was accused of contaminating the crime scene in Pistorius' house and had to backtrack on key details such as the distance of witnesses from the home.

Lead defence counsel Barry Roux accused the police of oversights and slip-ups in their initial investigation.

The bail hearing for Pistorius, who has been charged with shooting dead his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's Day, is due to restart at 0900 GMT.

(Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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