Court dismisses Zuma bid to have prosecutor Downer recused from corruption case

Former President Jacob Zuma accused Advocate Billy Downer of bias and leaking sensitive information relating to him and his case, claiming that Downer had shared his private information, such as medical records, with others, including journalists.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Emmanuel Croset/AFP

DURBAN - Former President Jacob Zuma has lost his bid to have senior State prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his corruption trial.

Zuma accused Downer of leaking vital information about him to the media.

On Tuesday, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that Downer would continue representing the State in Zuma's corruption case.

The former president sat in the dock carefully listening to the proceedings as Judge Piet Koen ruled that Advocate Downer would remain on the arms deal corruption trial.

Zuma had filed a special plea to have Downer removed from the matter, saying that his case would be comprised.

But Koen said that there was no substantial evidence of this.

"I conclude in regard to the 14 specific grounds raised, commenting on each individually, that many were based on speculation or suspicion or are based on inadmissible hearsay evidence and not on fact," Judge Koen said.

The corruption trial has been set down for 11 April next year.

WATCH: Court hands down ruling on Zuma's Downer recusal application

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