Conflicting reports on status of lead investigator in Pistorius case

There are conflicting reports about whether the lead investigator into the murder case against Oscar Pistorius has been dropped.

Detective Hilton Botha is himself facing seven charges of attempted murder for an incident in 2011.

Reports this morning had suggested he had been dropped, however AFP say South African police have told them that no decision has been taken yet on whether to drop Botha.

"Blade Runner" Pistorius has returned to court for the third day of his high-profile bail hearing.

He has admitted shooting 29-year-old model Steenkamp, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars, who were in the bathroom. He said he opened fire in the dark because he was too scared to turn a light on.

Realising his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs, he said.

Yesterday Botha acknowledged the prosecution had no evidence challenging the double-amputee Paralympian’s claim that he killed his girlfriend accidentally, as well as admitting a number of police blunders in the investigation.

He said there was “no way” he believed Pistorius’s version of events, adding: “I believe he knew she was in the bathroom and he shot four shots through the door.”

Medupe Simasiku, of the National Prosecution Agency, previously said prosecutors were unaware of the charges against Botha when they put him up in court to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail.

Police Brigadier Neville Malila, of the South African Police Service, said officers learned yesterday that the charges against Botha and the two others had been reinstated by the Director of Public Prosecutions. They were initially dropped following the shooting incident.

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