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Manuel Chang’s arrest unlawful, argues lawyer

The police arrested the former Mozambican finance minister on an Interpol red notice late in December at OR Tambo International Airport en route to Dubai.

Former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: United Nations Photo

JOHANNESBURG - Mozambique’s former Finance Minister Manuel Chang has appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court, where his defence team argued that his arrest was unlawful and he should be freed.

The police arrested Chang on an Interpol red notice late in December at OR Tambo International Airport en route to Dubai.

The former government official and four others - Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, Deletina Subevan and Jean Boustani - have been implicated in fraud and corruption worth an estimated $2 billion.

The State has until Wednesday to prepare submissions to oppose Chang’s challenge of his arrest, which he has argued is unlawful.

Chang’s attorney told the Kempton Park Magistrates Court that there was no formal extradition application by US authorities prior to his detention.

Meanwhile, three former Credit Suisse bankers Pearse from New Zealand, Singh from the United Kingdom and Bulgarian Subeva have been detained in London.

The United States wants to extradite the former Mozambique finance minister and the three UK suspects to stand in the dock alongside Lebanese suspect, Boustani, who was arrested while trying to leave Washington.

Chang’s matter continues on Wednesday.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)