Ex-South African president appeals ruling in corruption case

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Former South African President Jacob Zuma sits in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Monday Jan. 31, 2022. Zuma seeks leave to appeal Judge Piet Koen's decision to keep State prosecutor Billy Downer on the case. He is in court facing charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay,Pool)

JOHANNESBURG – Former South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday continued with legal proceedings to remove the prosecutor in his corruption case.

Zuma's lawyers are appealing the court's rejection of his application for prosecutor Billy Downer to be removed, saying he is biased and unfit to lead the prosecution. Zuma's lawyers have also accused Downer of leaking documents related to his case to the media.

His initial application for Downer to be removed was dismissed by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in October last year.

Zuma is facing corruption charges linked to the 1999 arms deal in which he is alleged to have received bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales through his financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who has already been convicted of corruption for that transaction.

In a separate case last year, Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for defying an order of the Constitutional Court to appear before a judicial investigation into allegations of corruption while he was president from 2008 to 2019.

Zuma, 79, went to prison in July and a few months later was released on medical parole. The courts have ruled that the parole was invalid and that Zuma should go back to prison, but his lawyers are appealing that decision.