UK & World News

  • 7 August 2014, 18:16

Oscar Pistorius Detective Told 'Blatant Lies'

The former lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius investigation told "blatant lies" to incriminate the Paralympic champion, a court has heard.

The athlete's lawyer Barry Roux made the claim about Hilton Botha as he gave the defence's closing arguments in the murder trial.

He was responding to prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who earlier told the court Pistorius intended to kill when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Mr Botha resigned from the investigation after it emerged he was facing charges of manslaughter in another case.

He was also criticised for giving contradictory evidence at Pistorius' bail hearing.

Mr Roux said: "We know that Hilton Botha was the investigating officer. We also know - and I will show it to you in the bail application that he told blatant lies to incriminate the accused."

He noted that evidence at the scene had been moved around by investigators, calling it "unintentional tempering", rather than a conspiracy.

And Mr Roux called into question the prosecution's timeline of events leading up to the shooting, based on evidence from neighbours.

He told the court: "What we did with timeline, we ignored say-sos. We only accepted the say-so of a witness when it was corroborated with objective evidence."

Mr Roux will present his final arguments on Friday before Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourns the trial to deliberate on her verdict with two legal assistants.

Pistorius is accused of murdering Ms Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day last year.

He shot her four times through a locked toilet door where she was taking refuge after a heated argument.

The double-amputee athlete claims he killed her by accident after mistaking her for an intruder hiding behind the door.

If found guilty of premeditated murder he could face life in prison.

A potential lesser charge of culpable homicide could carry a sentence of 15 years.