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Zuma to appeal against ruling

By unknown | Jul 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

ANC president Jacob Zuma is to appeal against Monday's ruling by the Mauritian supreme court, which turned down his attempt to bar documents that could be used as evidence against him from leaving the Indian Ocean island.

"We have taken a decision to appeal and are briefing our Mauritian counsel," Zuma's attorney, Michael Hulley, said yesterday.

The original copies of 14 documents allegedly implicate Zuma in discussions with French arms companies about bribes related to the arms deal.

The documents include the diary of French arms company Thint chief executive Alain Thetard, which contains entries detailing meetings between Zuma, Thetard and Schabir Shaik, at which bribes were allegedly discussed.

The NPA is already in possession of photocopies of the documents. These photocopies were used to successfully prosecute Schabir Shaik.

If Zuma's appeal to the Mauritian supreme court succeeds, his legal counsel is likely to attempt to prevent the NPA from using the photocopied documents in Zuma's corruption trial, which begins on August 14 in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

According to Hulley, "best evidence rules state that you must use originals and not copies."

Zuma is also awaiting judgment from the constitutional court on whether search warrants issued by the Scorpions in 2005 for raids on three of his homes were legal or not.

If the court rules that the search warrants were not legally issued, the NPA won't use the seized documents as evidence in the pending trial.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali welcomed the Mauritius supreme court ruling as a "positive outcome for the NPA".


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