Nicholson judgment in spotlight

Judge Chris Nicholson, who effectively turned the political landscape upside down with his September 12 Zuma ruling, will tomorrow again face the two legal teams as the national prosecuting authority (NPA) argues for leave to appeal his judgment.

Judge Chris Nicholson, who effectively turned the political landscape upside down with his September 12 Zuma ruling, will tomorrow again face the two legal teams as the national prosecuting authority (NPA) argues for leave to appeal his judgment.

Nicholson ruled that the state's decision to prosecute ANC president Jacob Zuma was unlawful because the state had failed to take representation from Zuma.

In its application the NPA states 16 grounds for appeal, including the fact that it believes that "the court erred in holding that the NDPP (national director of public prosecutions) had to request and consider representations from the applicant" prior to the 2005 decision by former NPA boss Vusi Pikoli and the December 2007 decision to prosecute Zuma.

The NPA maintained that there was no review of the decision to prosecute Zuma but that it "was a fresh decision taken after the prosecution started by the Pikoli decision had been terminated by the order striking the matter from the roll in September 2006".

The NPA claimed the court had "committed an irregularity" when Nicholson held that a commission of inquiry should probe the arms deal.

Zuma's legal team have said they will oppose the application and yesterday his attorney lodged an affidavit relating to the state's unsuccessful attempt to strike out sections of Zuma's founding affidavit.

Should Nicholson not grant leave to appeal, the state can petition the supreme court of appeal. - Sapa

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