S.African court finds Mozambican ex-finance minister's detention legal
(Adds detail and context)
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A South African judge ruled
on Wednesday that the detention of Mozambique's former finance
minister Manuel Chang over $2 billion of fraudulent loans was
Lawyers for Chang, who was arrested in South Africa on Dec.
29 and denies wrongdoing, argued in court on Tuesday that his
detention on U.S. charges was illegal because a request for
extradition had not yet been received.
Chang was in charge of Mozambique's finances when it failed
to disclose government guarantees for $2 billion in
international borrowing by state-owned firms.
Judge Sagra Subrayen said in a Johannesburg court on
Wednesday that Chang's detention had followed the procedure set
out in the extradition treaty between South Africa and the
United States, and that she was not persuaded by the defence's
"The application is therefore dismissed," she said.
If Chang is extradited to the United States, analysts say
the case against him could unearth details about Mozambique's
debt scandal, with potential implications for senior members of
the ruling party ahead of elections in October.
Mozambique's acknowledgement in 2016 of the undisclosed
borrowing prompted the International Monetary Fund and foreign
donors to cut off support, triggering a currency collapse and a
debt crisis that Mozambique is still struggling to recover from.
The United States is also seeking the extradition of three
former Credit Suisse bankers and the lead salesman of
Abu Dhabi-based holding company Privinvest, who it says are
implicated in the fraud.
(Reporting by Emma Rumney
Editing by Alexander Winning and Kevin Liffey)
First Published: 2019-01-09 12:34:41
Updated 2019-01-09 13:26:54
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