Nightly News   |  February 21, 2013

Lead detective taken off Pistorius case

The prosecution revealed what they call inconsistencies in Oscar Pistorius’ defense, further complicating a hearing that has been full of discrepancies. But the prosecution is now facing a surprising hurdle after discovering the chief police investigator is facing charges of attempted murder, damaging his credibility and raising questions about South Africa’s police force. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> now we go overseas to a big revelation in the murder case of oscar pistorius in south africa . this stunned everybody in the courtroom and left the prosecuti prosecution scrambling. it turns out the lead investigator in the case is facing attempted murder charges of his own. we get our report tonight from nbc's michelle kosinski in pretty tore i can't.

>> reporter: oscar pistorius in court for the third day of a bail hearing that has turned into a sort of mini trial. and a battle between side's attorney. today's bombshell, the chief police investigator, hilton boata, is facing attempted murder charges from a shooting he was involved in while on duty two years ago. even top prosecutors were stunned.

>> what i can say is that the timing is totally weird.

>> reporter: all this follows boata's shaky performance in court yesterday, riddled with mistakes, confused about facts. now he's off the case.

>> certainly, the state will be left with the embarrassing impression that they don't -- they aren't fully in control of their own case and they haven't done certain crucial investigative steps to en be sure they can actually prosecute this man.

>> reporter: but then it was the prosecution's turn to reveal what they call inconsistencies in pistorius ' story. he says he woke up in the dark, heard a noise, thought girlfriend reeva steenkamp was in bed, grabbed his gun, yelled, then fired. but the prosecution countered. he would have had to walk right by steenkamp about three times, asking if he really thought this was an intruder, you don't even look to see that the other person is next to you? you want to protect her, but you don't even look at her. and pistorius claims he fired. police say from here against the bathroom sinks into the small toilet room. then he says dropped his gun. prosecutors said today the gun was found here, on a small carpet outside the somehow we are, next to cell phones belonging to both pistorius and steenkamp. calling pistorius ' account totally improbable, claiming he's prone to anger and clearly wanted to kill with those four shots. even if you believe his story, they say, it's still premeditated murder of a burglar. the defense insists, there's no evidence of a murder at all. the question one judge have will decide in a trial still many months away. michelle kosinski , nbc news, pretoria, south africa .