The sensational case of Oscar Pistorius took a new turn Thursday when police said the lead investigator is facing seven counts of attempted murder stemming from an incident four years ago.
That investigator, Hilton Botha, and several other police officers apparently fired at a minibus they were chasing in late 2009, spokesman Neville Malila told CNN affiliate eNCA.
The officers were allegedly drunk at the time, the spokesman said. They were arrested on seven counts of attempted murder — for the number of occupants in the minibus, the spokesman said. Reeva Steenkamp in photos Photos: ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius Police version vs. Pistorius’ version Defense on attack at Pistorius hearing
They were also charged with using firearms under the influence of alcohol, and all of them appeared in court. The charges were provisionally withdrawn, but the Director of Public Prosecution reinstated them Wednesday and plans to move ahead on the charges later this year, the spokesman said.
The revelation comes as final arguments are set to begin in the bail hearing of the Olympian charged with premeditated murder in the killing of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day. A ruling in the hearing could come as soon as Thursday.
Pistorius has said he thought he was shooting at an intruder. But Botha told the court Wednesday that Pistorius, 26, wasn’t acting in self-defense when he shot through the door of a toilet room in the bathroom of his home and killed Steenkamp. Botha said he believes Pistorius knew Steenkamp was on the other side of the door.
He didn’t explain why investigators think that but suggested Pistorius was specifically aiming to hit the toilet where Steenkamp had gone. But he also said investigators have found no evidence that is inconsistent with Pistorius’ story.