Zuma asks South Africa constitutional court to exclude evidence in corruption case

Zuma asks South Africa constitutional court to exclude evidence in corruption case

[JURIST] South African politician Jacob Zuma [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] launched a legal challenge Tuesday in the South African Constitutional Court [official website] seeking to have evidence excluded from his upcoming corruption trial. Zuma argued that evidence seized in 2005 raids by the Directorate of Special Investigations [official backgrounder; BBC report], also known as "The Scorpions," should be thrown out because the raids violated his rights to privacy and fair trial. Last November, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal upheld [JURIST report] the validity of the search warrants used for the raids. AFP has more.

Zuma has been facing corruption allegations [BBC timeline] and other charges for several years; he was first charged with corruption in 2005, but those charges were later dismissed [JURIST report] because prosecutors failed to follow proper procedures. In December 2007, South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority [official website] served an indictment [JURIST report] on Zuma, charging him with corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to alleged bribes received from arms manufacturer Thint, a subsidiary of the France-based Thales Group [corporate website]. His trial is scheduled to begin in August. Zuma is the leader of the ruling African National Congress [party website], putting him in position to become the country's next president.