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South Africa police replace top Pistorius investigator



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"The reason you fire four shots is to kill," Nel persisted.

Earlier Thursday, Nair questioned Botha over delays in processing records from phones found in Pistorius’ house following the slaying.

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"It seems to me like there was a lack of urgency," the magistrate said.

Botha is to appear in court in May to face seven counts of attempted murder in connection with the minibus shooting incident. He has been quoted in the South African media as denying allegations he was drunk at the time, saying he and the other officers were trying to stop the vehicle and didn’t know there were people inside.

While Botha has been dropped from the Pistorius investigation, he has not been suspended from the police force, Phiyega said, and could still be called by defense lawyers at trial.

Pistorius, wearing the same gray suit, blue shirt and gray tie combination he has worn throughout the bail hearing, stood ramrod straight in the dock, then sat calmly looking at his hands.

Roux said an autopsy showed that Steenkamp’s bladder was empty, suggesting she had gone to the bathroom to use the toilet, rather than fled there to escape an enraged Pistorius, as prosecutors contend.

"The known forensics is consistent" with Pistorius’ statement, Roux said, asking that bail restrictions be eased for his client.

But the prosecutor said Pistorius hadn’t given guarantees to the court that he wouldn’t leave the country if he was facing a life sentence. Nel also stressed that Pistorius shouldn’t be given special treatment.

"‘I am Oscar Pistorius. I am a world-renowned athlete.’ Is that a special circumstance? No," Nel said. "His version [of the killing] is improbable."


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Nel said the court should focus on the "murder of the defenseless woman."

Botha testified Thursday that he investigated a 2009 complaint against Pistorius by a woman who said the athlete assaulted her. However, Pistorius did not hurt the woman, who in fact injured herself when she kicked a door at Pistorius’ home, Botha said.



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