Zuma's application against NPA's Billy Downer gets underway
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Pietermaritzburg - THE Pietermaritzburg High Court has started hearing the application by former president Jacob Zuma to force Advocate Billy Downer SC out as the prosecutor in his arms deal corruption trial.
Tuesday’s hearing before Judge Piet Koen is expected to be primarily about Zuma’s ability to personally come to court after he was granted medical parole by the department of correctional services to serve the remainder of his 15 months sentence at home.
In the main, Zuma wants Downer not to lead the NPA’s team that is due to prosecute him for alleged corruption in the arms deal case.
He alleges that Downer compromised himself and the case by leaking sensitive information to selected media outlets and CIA spies.
Inside the court on Tuesday was correctional services boss Arthur Fraser, who was accompanied by his legal team of Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC and Eric Mabuza as well as officials from his department.
Fraser’s department is expected to be called to the stand and tell the court how sick Zuma is, and whether or not he can come to court.
Outside the court, armed police formed a security ring around the building and cordoned off the main road as a precautionary security measure.
As usual, Zuma’s legal team is led by Advocate Dali Mpofu SC and Advocate Thabani Masuku SC.
Also present in court was Advocate Barry Roux who is representing French arms company Thales, which has an interest in the recusal application because it is the second accused in the Zuma corruption case.