Corruption Charges Dropped Against S. Africa's Zuma

Accusations against likely next prez were political: prosecutors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 7:40 AM CDT
Corruption Charges Dropped Against S. Africa's Zuma
The Supreme Court of Appeal is shown Jan. 12, 2009. The Court overturned a lower court's decision to throw out the case against Zuma; charges have now been dropped.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Corruption charges against South Africa’s likely next president, Jacob Zuma, have been dropped by prosecutors, the BBC reports. The head prosecutor said evidence from a tapped phone line proved that the 2007 charges, which were based on a 1999 arms deal, were politically motivated. Zuma, the head of the African National Congress, had been charged with graft, racketeering, and money-laundering.

“I have come to the difficult conclusion that it is neither possible nor desirable” for prosecutors “to continue with the prosecution of Mr Zuma,” said the chief prosecutor, after secret recordings captured prosecution officials planning to time the charges to cause political damage to Zuma. "It was pure abuse of process." Zuma has always held that the charges were politically motivated.
(More Jacob Zuma stories.)

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