Durban - Television cameras could be seen at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, where former president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales will formally apply for leave to appeal the judgment that they must stand trial for corruption, f rom as early as at 6am on Friday morning .
The court last month dismissed the two accused’s applications for a permanent stay of prosecution on the arms deal-related fraud and corruption charges.
In papers filed in support of their appeal, Zuma’s lawyers claimed judges Bhekisisa Mnguni, Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and Esther Steyn failed to apply their minds to the constitutional prejudice Zuma suffered because of the delays in bringing the matter to trial.
They claimed that Zuma should have been prosecuted together with his former financial adviser, convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, who was handed a 15-year sentence in 2005.
Zuma’s fraud, corruption and money laundering charges relate to the 1999 R30 billion worth arms deal in which Shaik had, according to court judgement, facilitated a bribe so that he could protect Thales from future prosecution.
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In the court papers, Zuma denied the judges’ findings that he had contributed to the delay of charges and trial.
Zuma also claimed that the judges had overlooked this claimed that the charges against him were contaminated by political interference following the discovery of tape recordings which were believed to contain conversations between former national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy plotting to charge Zuma before the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference in order to assist his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, to retain the party presidency.