(Bloomberg) --

Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma lost his legal bid to have the state prosecutor in his corruption trial dismissed on the grounds that he wasn’t independent and impartial.

The ruling was handed down by Judge Piet Koen at a High Court hearing in the eastern town of Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

Zuma, 79, stands accused of soliciting bribes from arms dealers in the 1990s, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His lawyers argued that the entire National Prosecuting Authority team led by Billy Downer lacked credibility and couldn’t be given the responsibility of presenting evidence against him. 

The former president also accused Downer of leaking sensitive information on his case to the media, including a confidential medical report that had been given to the state prosecutor.

Zuma was separately convicted of contempt of court in June for defying an order to testify before a judicial panel that’s probing graft during his nine-year rule and handed a 15-month jail term. He was freed on medical parole in September after serving just two months. 

Read more: Law Catches Up With Scandal-Tainted Ex-South African Leader Zuma


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