[WATCH] Judge Dismisses Zuma’s Bid to Have Downer Removed – Rules Corruption Trial Must Resume

Picture: Emmanuel Croset/AFP

Judge Piet Koen has dismissed Jacob Zuma’s bid to have prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his corruption case and finds it has “no reasonable prospects of success” and that the criminal trial against the former president will go ahead.

Zuma was back at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday for judgment on his application for leave to appeal.

The former president wanted the lead prosecutor in his arms deal criminal case, advocate Billy Downer, to be removed.

Zuma said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials violated his rights since the beginning of his arms deal criminal case in 2005 and wants to be acquitted should the court find that prosecutors treated him unfairly.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said they expected this judgment in their favour.

“Given the fact that the first thing the judge says that Supreme Court of Appeal has ventilated these issues. It has pronounced on the issues that they have rehashed on their arguments and the preservation of their case. So we have been vindicated. So we are happy and relieved that at last we will have a trial.”

Judge Koen said Zuma could still challenge the court outcome at a later stage.

-eNCA/Karyn Maughan

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