/ 18 September 2008

Charges against Thint to be withdrawn

The charges that French arms company Thint faced alongside African National Congress president Jacob Zuma will be provisionally withdrawn, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Thursday.

”We will have to provisionally withdraw,” said NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.

”Because this is a matter where Mr Zuma and Thint were the co-accused,” he explained.

This will be done at Thint’s next scheduled court appearance, set down for December 8.

Thint had faced one count of racketeering, two of corruption and one of money laundering in the case in which it is accused of paying Zuma a bribe in return for protection in probes into alleged irregularities in the multimillion-rand arms deal.

The decision follows the setting aside of charges against Zuma by Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson last Friday because Zuma had not been given a chance to make representations to the NPA when it decide to press charges against him for a second time.

The NPA intends appealing against the judgement. — Sapa