Lead Cop Dropped From Pistorius Case

After attempted murder charges from 2011 reinstated

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 21, 2013 7:57 AM CST | Updated Feb 21, 2013 9:12 AM CST

(Newser) – Lead detective Hilton Botha is now off the Oscar Pistorius murder case now that he's facing his own attempted murder charges, the police commissioner announced today. A new detective has been brought in, the BBC reports. A spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority had earlier told Reuters that the decision to reinstate charges against Botha was made on Feb. 4, "way before the issue of Pistorius came to light or the murder of Reeva was committed. It's completely unrelated to this trial." Another spokesperson for the NPA calls the timing "totally weird," the AP reports. She says the charges were reinstated when more evidence came to light.

More recent developments:

  • The sponsor fallout has begun: Nike suspended its endorsement contract with Pistorius, which it's had since 2007, today, Reuters reports. The company stressed in a statement that Pistorius "should be afforded due process" and promised to "monitor the situation closely." Oakley has also canceled its contract with Pistorius, according to the Guardian. Still safe for now are other endorsement deals with French designer Thierry Mugler and British telecom company BT, though pictures of Pistorius seem to have been removed from Mugler's website.
  • Today, the final day of Pistorius' bail hearing, the judge abruptly adjourned the hearing, citing some sort of threat outside the building, CNN reports. It was apparently resolved within minutes, because the hearing resumed and the threat was not mentioned again.
Click for the latest developments.

In this Aug.  5, 2012 file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in the men's 400-meter semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
In this Aug. 5, 2012 file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in the men's 400-meter semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)
Investigating officer Hilton Botha sits inside the witness box during the bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.
Investigating officer Hilton Botha sits inside the witness box during the bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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