Zuma bid to remove prosecutor Downer rejected

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Zuma bid to remove prosecutor Downer rejected

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg has dismissed former President Jacob Zuma’s application seeking the removal of lead prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer from Zuma’s arms deal corruption case.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili delivered the ruling but stated that the full reasons behind his decision will be provided at the conclusion of the trial.

This latest development follows previous setbacks for Zuma in both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court, where his attempts to pursue a private prosecution against Downer were denied.

Zuma and his legal team had argued for Downer’s recusal, citing allegations of bias and a violation of Zuma’s constitutional rights. However, the court found these claims lacked sufficient merit to warrant Downer’s removal from the high-profile case.

The dismissal of Zuma’s application allows the long-running arms deal trial to proceed with Downer continuing as the lead prosecutor. The case relates to allegations of corruption surrounding South Africa’s multi-billion rand arms procurement in the late 1990s.