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SA court: Arrest of former Mozambique finance minister is lawful

Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang and four others have been implicated in fraud and corruption worth an estimated $2 billion.

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

PRETORIA - The Kempton Park Magistrates Court has ruled that the arrest and detention of Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang is lawful.

The police nabbed Chang on an Interpol red notice at OR Tambo International Airport late in December. He is now awaiting extradition to the United States.

The former minister and four others have been implicated in fraud and corruption worth an estimated $2 billion.

Chang’s defence team argued that the United States had not applied for the extradition of their client at the time of his arrest and this was in contravention of the Extradition Act.

But the State argued that the provisional arrest, made pending an official request to detain the suspect, was in accordance with an extradition treaty signed with the US.

Magistrate Sagra Subroyan accepted the State’s case and has ruled Chang’s arrest to be lawful.

The accused now wants to bring a bail application; however, his legal team is unhappy with the indictment provided by the US because some of its contents are redacted.

The defence wants a complete document to proceed.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)