Speculation as Pistorius hearing starts

2013-02-21 11:26
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Pistorius bail hearing - day 3

See all the latest pictures from the third day of Oscar Pistorius's bid to secure bail at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

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Pretoria - Speculation mounted on Thursday about what will happen during paralympian Oscar Pistorius's bail application, after reports that the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Hilton Botha, faces attempted murder charges himself.

The bail application resumed shortly after 11:00 on Thursday morning.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke was quoted as saying on SABC radio news that the police needed to decide on his fate.

"The right thing would be for him not to continue with the investigation," said Makeke.

However, Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila told the international news agency Agence France Presse: "We didn't make a decision on that. For now he is still on the case."

Back in court

As Pistorius's family took their places in court on Thursday, conversations centred on reports that Botha had been charged after allegedly shooting at a minibus taxi during a chase for a suspect, and the effect this could have on Pistorius's bail application.

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, which he has denied in an affidavit.

Botha spent Wednesday discussing early evidence collected on the scene at Pistorius's home in Pretoria.

On Thursday, police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila confirmed that Botha faces seven charges of attempted murder.

He said Botha was first charged in 2009, but that the charges were then provisionally withdrawn. The matter was 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.

Makeke told SABC radio news that he had been charged on 4 February.

According to EWN, Botha allegedly fired shots at the minibus taxi, which was carrying seven occupants, during a chase for a suspect in the murder of Denise Stratford, whose body was found in a drain.

- See News24's Pistorius Special Report.


- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  hilton botha
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