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Court postpones corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma

Court postpones corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma
A South African judge on Tuesday postponed the corruption trial of former President Jacob Zuma to Sept. 9 as he undergoes treatment for an undisclosed illness. File Pool photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A court in South Africa on Tuesday agreed to postpone the corruption and money laundering trial of former President Jacob Zuma as he receives treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Judge Piet Koen of the Pietermaritzburg High Court said the trial would be postponed to Sept. 9 as Zuma, 79, is hospitalized while serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court.

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Koen ordered Zuma's legal team to submit a medical report by Aug. 20 to clarify whether he would be able to stand for the trial and said the state may appoint a doctor to examine the former president.

The court further requested that Zuma's lawyer file "an affidavit by a medical practitioner treating Mr. Zuma."

"If, on the postponed date, Mr. Zuma applies for a further postponement, his application shall be supported by the viva voce [oral] evidence of medical practitioner treating him, who may be cross-examined by the state and the state may adduce rebutting viva voce evidence, either there and then, or at an adjourned hearing," Koen said.

Last month, Zuma surrendered to police to begin the 15-month sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Center after he defied a court order to appear before a corruption inquiry examining scandals that occurred during his nine years in office from 2009 and 2018.

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He faces 16 charges including corruption fraud, racketeering and money laundering in connection to an arms deal that occurred in 1999 while he was South Africa's deputy president.

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