Court to hear applications by Downer, Maughan to have private prosecution case set aside

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The High Court in Pietermaritzburg is on Monday expected to hear the applications by Advocate Billy Downer and legal journalist Karyn Maughan to have their private prosecution matter set aside.

Former President Jacob Zuma instituted the private prosecution in September last year.

Last month, the court adjourned the private prosecution matter to August, pending the applications by Downer and Maughan.

Zuma’s private prosecution is centred on the alleged leaking of information on his medical condition, which was attached to court documents in the arms deal corruption trial.

Video: Former President Zuma vs Billy Downer, Karyn Maughan case at Pietermaritzburg Court

Zuma charged Downer and Maughan for contravening the National Prosecuting Authority act.

He alleges that Downer breached section 41 of the act by disclosing documents in possession of the authority without the permission of the national director of public prosecutions.

The medical information was contained in a letter attached to an affidavit by Zuma to ask for a postponement in his trial. Downer attached this to his affidavit opposing Zuma’s postponement of the trial.

The documents Zuma alleges have been leaked to Maughan who published them on the News24 website.

Both Maughan and Downer have dismissed the charge against them and argue that this was an abuse of the court process.

Video: Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution matter against Adv Billy Downer and News24 Journalist Karyn Maughan