Koen indicated he was considering recusing himself late last year.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption case was expected to return to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.

Judge Piet Koen was expected to announce whether or not he’ll continue to hear it.

Koen indicated he was considering recusing himself late last year.

This followed the announcement from Zuma’s legal team that the former president planned on bringing another application for State Advocate Billy Downer’s removal from the case based on the fact that Zuma had instituted a private prosecution against Downer.

Zuma’s claims in the private prosecution were also raised in his failed special plea challenging Downer’s title to prosecute, which Koen had already taken a position on.

Koen said this placed him in a “tricky” situation.

Zuma’s private prosecution of Billy Downer is based on his claim that the seasoned state advocate “leaked” confidential medical information to journalist Karyn Maughan.

He raised the same claim in his special plea, in which he also wanted Downer kicked off the case. And in dismissing his special plea in October 2021, Koen expressed doubts about the case against Downer.

Both the state and the defence have made submissions on the issue. Zuma’s lawyers want Koen off the case, while Downer’s team wants the judge to stay.

Zuma and his co-accused, French arms dealer Thales, have been excused from Monday’s proceedings.

By: Bernadette Wicks

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