Pistorius lead detective removed from case

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Pistorius lead detective removed from case

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The lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius trial has been removed from the case pending an internal police investigation.

It had earlier emerged that Hilton Botha was himself facing seven murder charges for opening fire on a minibus full of passengers in 2011.

The charges were initially dropped, but the National Prosecuting Authority has now said they were reinstated on February 4, 10 days before Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home.

It is unclear how the charges against Botha will affect Pistorius’ chances of securing release from custody ahead of his trial.

The Olympic athlete denies the murder charges, claiming he mistook the 29-year-old victim for an intruder.

Pistorius, a double amputee – who is known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon fibre racing blades he uses – faces life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

Sportswear giant, Nike, has frozen its contracts with the athlete, while other sponsors have declined to comment on their contracts until after the bail hearing.

A decision on whether Pistorius will be released on bail is expected on Friday morning.