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Oscar Pistorius Detective Hilton Botha Facing Attempted Murder Charges

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The police officer leading the Oscar Pistorius investigation has been dropped from the case because he has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

Hilton Botha and two other officers reportedly opened fire on seven passengers in a taxi mini-bus in an attempt to stop it. It is alleged that the officers, who were on duty at the time, were drunk.

The charges were initially dropped but have now been reinstated by the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Police Brigadier Neville Malila said Botha was scheduled to appear in court in May on seven counts of attempted murder.

detective hilton botha

Hilton Botha is facing attempted murder charges

He said Botha and two other police officers fired shots while trying to stop a mini-van in an incident in October 2011.

Medupe Simasiku, of the National Prosecution Agency, said prosecutors had been unaware of the charges against the detective.

The dramatic twist comes as Pistorius appears in court for the third day of his bail hearing after being charged with shooting dead his model girlfriend.

On Wednesday Botha was laughed at in court for claiming the world-famous Paralympian could go on the run.

As the hearing got underway on Thursday, Nike confirmed that it has suspended its contract with Pistorius.

In a statement, the company said: "We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Pistorius, who faces a charge of premeditated murder, has admitted shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars, who were in the bathroom.

Botha was forced to admit that the prosecution had no evidence challenging the double-amputee Olympian's claim that he killed his girlfriend accidentally, as well as to a number of police blunders in the investigation.

Pistorius 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 where she died, he said.

A decision on whether he will be granted bail could be made in court on Thursday.

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