Ex-Mozambican finance minister remains in South African jail

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang will remain in a South African jail until October when a South African High Court will hear the case to extradite him to the U.S.

Chang was arrested in South Africa in December last year on the request of U.S. prosecutors who alleged that he was involved fraudulent loans of more than $2 billion that were guaranteed by the Mozambican government when he was finance minister from 2005 to 2015.

U.S. prosecutors want Chang extradited to the U.S. to face trial, but the Mozambican government has engaged a South African law firm to fight those efforts and have him returned to Mozambique instead.

However, South Africa’s justice minister filed an affidavit in July in which he announced that South Africa would oppose Chang’s return to Mozambique because he has not yet been charged in his home country.

Chang faces charges that he was part of the government taking out large loans but did not make public. Their eventual disclosure in 2016 resulted in the International Monetary Fund withdrawing its support for Mozambique.

The extradition hearing has been scheduled for 16th to 17th October.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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