The CIA, politics behind my prosecution – Zuma


FORMER president Jacob Zuma has alleged that Leonard McCarthy, the ex-director of special operations in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), was a spy working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

The bombshell allegations are contained in an affidavit by Zuma in support of his application that Advocate Billy Downer, the prosecutor who has worked on the fraud and corruption case for 17 years, should recuse himself. 

Zuma yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, fraud and corruption.

In the affidavit, read in court by Advocated Dali Mpofu and Thabani Masuku, Zuma alleged that the charges against him were part of an unlawful intelligence operation McCarthy conducted against him. He said McCarthy’s handler was Andre Pienaar, alias “Luciano”.

Zuma said he wants to hear from McCarthy if he was lawfully sanctioned to conduct the intelligence operation to gather information that Downer would use against him.

“I want to know who authorised him to conduct intelligence operations against me. I want to know the extent of his engagement with Mr Downer SC who reported to him. I want to know who are the foreign intelligence agencies that unlawfully helped McCarthy with evidence against me,” he said.

Zuma further alleged that Pienaar got McCarthy a job at the World Bank, the organisation he joined after resigning from the NPA in 2008. McCarthy left the World Bank in 2017 to run his own compliance firm, LFMcCarthy Associates in Washington DC. McCarthy was also mentioned in the so-called spy tapes – intercepted communication between himself and the national director of public prosecutions Advocate Bulelani Ngcuka – discussing the Zuma case. 

In his affidavit Zuma argued that Downer was aware of McCarthy’s unlawful act but did not take any disciplinary measures against him. “I fear that Mr Downer has covered up McCarthy’s despicable conduct in manipulating my trial for political and intelligence reasons,” he said.

He alleged that McCarthy fled the country to avoid prosecution for his unlawful act.

He said Downer and Wim Trengrove made public utterances that were not different from those of political party, the DA.  

The case was postponed to July 19 for the adjudication of Zuma’s plea. The prosecution is expected to file a replying affidavit that will deal with, among others, Zuma’s allegations.

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