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Presidency silent on latest Zuma corruption claims

It's claimed Zuma believed criminal charges relating to the controversial arms deal should be dropped.

President Jacob Zuma

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has distanced itself from claims that President Jacob Zuma believed criminal charges against him, relating to the controversial arms deal, should be dropped because 'corruption is a western thing'.

The City Press on Sunday reported Zuma's lawyers apparently argued that even if it was a crime there are 'no victims'.

The paper claimed to have obtained a detailed analysis document into the president's 2009 written representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

In this document senior prosecutor Billy Downer apparently dismissed Zuma's representation that there were no victims and said the NPA should dismiss the president's claim.

The paper also says the document reveals that Zuma's lawyer, Michael Hulley, argued that one of the considerations that militated against his prosecution was that it would cause general dissatisfaction with the NPA.

Downer and other prosecutors have labelled this assertion as blackmail.

The president's spokesperson Mac Maharaj has refused to comment on the reports.

"I am not in the position to comment on that yet."

Formerly known as the strategic defence package, the arms deal was a multi-billion rand military project for finalised by the African National Congress government in 1999.