South Africa to Extradite Ex-Mozambique Minister Home, Not U.S.
(Bloomberg) -- South Africa will extradite former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang to his home country to stand trial, rather than the U.S. where he also faces corruption charges.
Chang was implicated in a $2 billion sovereign debt scandal and has been held in a prison outside Johannesburg since his December 2018 arrest while South Africa considered competing extradition requests from Mozambique and the U.S. A decision had been taken to accede to the Mozambican application, South Africa’s Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services said in an emailed statement on Monday.
Interpol is working on the case and Chang’s extradition could take place in coming days, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the decision. Chang, who faces charges including fraud and money laundering, denies wrongdoing.
The scandal began with three loans that Mozambican state-owned companies took out in 2013 and 2014 to pay for a fleet of tuna fishing boats, shipyards, and a coastal protection system. It culminated in a sovereign default in 2016, and has led to court cases spanning from New York, where three former Credit Suisse employees pleaded guilty to charges, to London and Maputo, Mozambique’s capital.
It’s unclear whether the South African government’s extradition decision relates to the trial of 19 people, including the son of former President Armando Guebuza, that started on Monday in Maputo.
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