Oscar Pistorius Bail Hearing Enters Final Arguments

The defense team for South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius is making its final arguments that he should be set free on bail, while the lead investigator in the murder case against the athlete is facing attempted murder charges of his own.
Defense lawyer Barry Roux criticized investigators Thursday for what he called the poor quality of their evidence. He also reiterated the defense case that the shooting by Pistorius of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last week was an accident, not premeditated murder.

The magistrate overseeing the case ruled earlier this week that he could not rule out premeditation, but that the charge could be downgraded. Premeditated murder carries a possible life sentence in prison.

Before the defense began its final arguments, the case took a surprise turn with revelations about the lead investigator. Authorities said Detective Hilton Botha has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder in connection with allegedly firing at a vehicle he was trying to stop.

Related - Lead Investigator in Pistorius Case Facing Attempted Murder Charges

The charges related to the 2011 incident had been provisionally withdrawn, but police say they have been reinstated.

Botha was asked to return to the witness stand Thursday, but was not asked about his own case.

Botha testified Wednesday that Pistorius' account of how he killed Reeva Steenkamp is consistent with what police found at the crime scene.

Pistorius insists he thought he was shooting at a burglar and had no intention of killing Reeva Steenkamp at his home last week. Prosecutors say the nighttime shooting through a bathroom door was premeditated murder.

Botha agreed with Roux there were no signs of an assault on Steenkamp's body and no signs she defended herself from an assault.

Roux also argued with Botha's statement that the shots through the door were fired downward, suggesting Pistorius, known as the "blade runner" for his artificial legs, put the legs on before heading to the door.

Pistorius said in an affidavit Tuesday that he was moving around on his stumps.

Pistorius is regarded as a sports hero and national icon in South Africa. He made history in August when he became the first double amputee to run at the Olympics.

Since the shooting, major sponsors Oakley and Nike have both suspended their contracts with Pistorius.
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