Judge Koen To Mull Over Downer Removal Request

Zuma
Jacob Zuma. Image source: Polity.org

The trial within the corruption trial against former president Jacob Zuma and Thales ended Wednesday with the defence insisting that the Pietermaritzburg High Court should find that Billy Downer has no title to prosecute in the main matter.

Advocate Wim Trengove for the National Prosecuting Authority wrapped up his arguments supporting Downer’s case to prosecute Zuma.

Advocate Dali Mpofu for Zuma took the opportunity to repel all the reasons advanced for allowing Downer to prosecute the 79-year-old former president.

The former president, who did not attend the court case brought the special plea to court to have Downer removed from the graft matter.

Ultimately, if Downer is removed, Zuma wants to be acquitted of all charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money laundering.

The decades-old allegations are that Zuma took R4.1-million, in 791 installments, from his then financial adviser Schabir Shaik, as a bribe to use his influence to help French arms manufacturer Thales secure contracts in the arms deal.

Zuma and Thales deny the allegations.

Judge Piet Koen, who said he would need about four weeks to compile his judgement, agreed to suggestions that he deliver his ruling next month on 26 October.

“What I contemplate as I said earlier on … I will try hopefully have the judgment by then,” said Judge Koen when agreeing to the date to deliver a ruling on the matter.

Judge Koen adjourned the matter.

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