Investigator in Pistorius Case Charged With 7 Counts of Attempted Murder

In the "you can't make this stuff up" department: Hilton Botha, the lead investigator in the Oscar Pistorius murder case who testified at yesterday's bail hearing, is himself charged with 7 counts of attempted murder resulting from a drunken spree with other officers. They are charged with opening fire on a mini-bus filled with passengers. They allegedly were drunk and in a state vehicle.

Botha and his co-defendant officers have a hearing in May. Charges were filed in 2011, dropped, and then reinstated, of all days, yesterday. (Update: Police management is now saying the charges were reinstated days before Reeva Steenkamp's killing and Oscar's arrest.)

A police spokesman today confirmed the charges and said Botha will remain on Oscar's case. [More...]

The incident happened in 2011, not 2009 as reported by earlier.

South African legal journalist @KarynMaughan interviewed Botha tonight and has his version. Botha denies he was drunk and says the officers were chasing a murder suspect.

Botha: we were trying to apprehend a second suspect in an office park murder. The taxi tried to push us off the road. We fired.

Botha says the NPA didn't tell him or prosecutors that the charges were being reinstated. He found out from another officer. He thinks the decision is related to his work on Oscar's case.

SAPS (South African Police Service) spokesman Neville Malila confirms charges were reinstated yesterday and says the decision was made by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), at the regional NPA (National Prosecution Authority). (Update: The NPA is now saying they were reinstated Feb. 4 which is before Reeva was killed and Oscar was arrested.)

Botha: my blood was never tested for alcohol in the aftermath of the shooting. I wasn't drunk
Malila told Maughan "police will launch an "internal probe" into attempted murder charges against Botha" and it could lead to his suspension.
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    When did the circus come to town (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:31:20 AM EST
    Oh, that's not a tent?