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Court to rule on Zuma bid for corruption trial acquittal - and he's unlikely to accept defeat

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Former president Jacob Zuma laid a criminal charge against state prosecutor advocate Billy Downer at Pietermaritzburg police station.
Former president Jacob Zuma laid a criminal charge against state prosecutor advocate Billy Downer at Pietermaritzburg police station.
Photo by Jabulani Langa

Former president Jacob Zuma has demanded to be acquitted of corruption because of the alleged abuses he has suffered at the hands of his prosecutors – but, say legal experts, he's highly unlikely to get his way.

Attorney and criminal law expert Ulrich Roux told News24 that Zuma's application for a so-called "special plea", in which he contends that the entire National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had lost the "title" required to try him for arms deal corruption, was "most likely to be dismissed" by Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday.

"The question that this case raises is this: if the NPA is not allowed to prosecute the former president, who is? It's one thing for him to argue that [lead Zuma prosecutor Billy] Downer is guilty of misconduct and should not be allowed to try him, but to say that the whole NPA cannot do so is unprecedented."

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