- It seems as though the National Prosecuting Authority is ready to officially begin with former President Jacob Zuma's arms deal trial
- The High Court is currently holding proceedings to hear arguments of why lead prosecutor Billy Downer should no longer be part of the case
- Zuma's legal team is also trying to get him acquitted of the charges should the court find that Downer should be removed from the case
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PIETERMARITZBURG - The Pietermaritzburg High Court heard former President Jacob Zuma's legal representation give arguments on why lead prosecutor Billy Downer should be taken off from the prosecution team in the arms deal procurement trial against Zuma and Thales, a French weapons company.
Zuma has stated that Downer is actually compromised and has shown bias towards the former president. Zuma is also of the belief that Downer has some sort of vendetta against him.
However, the National Prosecuting Authority simply rubbished Zuma's claims and arguments and said the matter Zuma's team has brought forward has been litigated before.
Advocate Dali Mpofu and Advocate Thabani Masuku spent approximately four hours bringing forward reasons why Downer should no longer be on the case. It took that state, through Advocate Wim Trengove, less than an hour to argue against their points.
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Zuma is not merely trying to have Downer removed from the prosecution team. His legal team is arguing that should Downer be removed from the team, Zuma would then be entitled to an acquittal of the charges against him based on Section 106 (1)(h) and Section 106(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act, reports the Daily Maverick.
Trengove told the court that the attacks on Downer were incomplete and were merely based on one-sided facts. He also accused Zuma's team of distorting facts.
Trengove also stated that Zuma's claims that he will have an unfair trial has been litigated before and he lost, referring to when Zuma attempted to get a permanent stay of prosecution.
Trengove also defended Downer against allegations that he leaked Zuma's medical health issues to the media. He stated that the letter which Zuma's team claims to have been leaked was submitted with court papers, reports News24.
Trengove further added that because the letter in question was not marked as confidential by Zuma's team it became part of public record.
Arms Deal: Dali Mpofu says there's no need for state doctors to examine Jacob Zuma
Briefly News previously reported that former President Jacob Zuma's ill health was a topic of discussion at his arms deal special plea hearing at the High Court sitting in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
During court proceedings, Zuma's legal representative Dali Mpofu expressed his discontentment with the medical doctors appointed by the National Prosecuting Authority to examine Zuma's health.
Zuma's special plea took place despite him not being in court. Mpofu stated that due to Zuma's medical condition, his doctors in Gauteng have recommended that he does not travel too far from healthcare, according to a report by News24.
Source: Briefly News