State prosecutor Advocate Wim Trengrove says former President Jacob Zuma tried to delay his prosecution at the cost of taxpayers money.

He told the High Court in Pietermaritzburg that up to R32 million in legal fees was used by Zuma since 2005.

The State is presenting the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) argument in court in the stay of prosecution application of Zuma and his co-accused French Arms company, Thales.

The full bench is hearing the application to have charges against them permanently quashed.

Both Zuma and Thales argue that they suffered prejudice as a result of delays and their rights for a speedy trial has been violated.

Trengrove says, “The litigation was moreover conducted at public expense. We know from the Zuma fees judgment of the High Court that the cost to the taxpayer is something between R16 and R32 million. It was luxurious litigation, over 14 years the effective which was to delay because all of it was unsuccessful with particular cases.”

“It starts off with the application that was brought by Mr Zuma and Mr Hulley to set aside the search warrants for the search of their premises. That litigation started on the 10 October and was initially successful in the High Court in February 2006, but it failed in the SCA in November 2007,” he adds.

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