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New Pistorius investigator is South Africa police’s ‘top detective’

  • Thursday, February 21, 2013

In this Wednesday, Feb. 20 file photo, investigating officer Hilton Botha, sits inside the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa. The lead investigator in the murder case against Oscar Pistorius faces attempted murder charges himself over a 2011 shooting, police said Thursday, Feb. 21 in another potentially damaging blow to the prosecution. Prosecutors said they were unaware of the charges against veteran detective Hilton Botha when they put him on the stand in court to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail in the Valentine’s Day shooting death of his girlfriend. Police Brig. Neville Malila told The Associated Press that Botha ó who gave testimony in the Pistorius bail hearing on Wednesday ó is scheduled to appear in court in May on seven counts of attempted murder related to an incident in October 2011 when Botha and two other police officers fired at a minibus they were trying to stop. AP PHOTO/THEMBA HADEBE

Pretoria, South Africa | South Africa’s police head has appointed its top detective as the new lead investigator in the Oscar Pistorius murder case.

The decision came after it emerged the initial investigator, Hilton Botha, was facing attempted murder charges.

National Commissioner Riah Phiyega says Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo will take over the investigation.

Phiyega says the Pistorius case “shall receive attention at the national level” and Moonoo will “gather a team of highly skilled and experience detectives.”

She says Moonoo is the South Africa police’s “top detective.”

Botha’s future in charge of the investigation into world-famous athlete Pistorius came into doubt after charges of attempted murder were reinstated against him in relation to a 2011 shooting incident, when he and two other police officers allegedly fired shots at a minibus.

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