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The former president faces charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Schabir Shaikh, Zuma's financial adviser, was charged with and found guilty of trying to solicit the arms deal bribes.

The case against Mr Zuma was dropped shortly before he ran for president in 2009.

The case was adjourned on Friday to allow Mr Zuma's legal team time to prepare the documents needed for the court to decide whether a review of the decision to re-charge the former president could go ahead. At the hearing, Judge Themba Sishi said Zuma was free "on warning".

The government said the fact that he was attending the summit as a head of state meant he had immunity, but the court disagreed.

Thales, which supplied naval vessels as part of the deal, also faces charges of corruption and a company representative from France appeared in court alongside Zuma.

But numerous Zuma loyalists openly defied the order, waving ANC flags and wearing ANC shirts as they rallied enthusiastically for the former president who was forced to resign in February.

Some legal analysts say Zuma's chances of successfully challenging the legitimacy of the prosecution have no chances of succeeding.

"I want to thank you as I thanked you many years ago. I am innocent until proven guilty", Zuma said.

Zuma thanked the crowd for supporting him, as they had previously.

The Zuma of old is still here - the crowd pleaser, the charmer and tactical politician.

Defying ANCSeveral hundred Zuma supporters, some defying a ban by the ANC on wearing party regalia to the court, chanted his name and ululated as he left the chamber in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

On the defendant's bench in the courtroom, Mr. Zuma politely greeted Christine Guerrier, a vice-president of Thales, who was delegated to represent the co-accused company.

Mr Zuma's remaining supporters argue that he is being targeted for backing a radical economic reform agenda.

Since being ousted by the ANC and then replaced by his former deputy Cyril Ramaphosa in February, Zuma has claimed the prosecution amounts to an attack by political enemies.

His trial is likely to be a lengthy one, with a battle brewing over whether the state should keep paying Mr Zuma's legal bills.

Zane Mlaba, a local ANC activist, described party leaders who called on members not to rally around Zuma "traitors".


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