29 January 2019

Mozambique: Frelimo Wants Chang Back, But Opposition Smells A Rat

Photo: VOAPortugues
Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang appears in court during an extradition hearing in Johannesburg.

Cape Town — Mozambique has asked for the extradition of former finance minister Manuel Chang, who is detained in South Africa on U.S. charges over a corruption scandal in his home country, Verdade reports.

The Mozambican Supreme Court has asked the country's parliament to lift the parliamentary immunity of Chang, and ordered his preventive detention. The request to withdraw his immunity was initiated by the Mozambican Attorney General's Office and the Supreme Court, in an effort to try to bring Chang to Mozambique.

The ruling Frelimo has approved the request, but opposition parties MDM and Renamo questioned Maputo's extradition request.

The Supreme Court says that if Chang is not placed in detention, then he may well flee or could try and disturb further investigations.

Before he was arrested in South Africa, Chang was not wanted in Mozambique, but after an international arrest warrant was issued, Mozambican prosecutors ordered his detention.

Prominent journalist and researcher in the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch, Zenaida Machado has questioned Mozambique's request for the return of Chang.

"Mozambique wants Chang back to face Odebrecht charges, not "hidden debts". Now tell me... who are the state prosecutors serving? The people of Mozambique, the state or a group of individuals involved in dodgy deals?" Machado tweeted.

Since Chang's arrest, three former employees of Credit Suisse have also been arrested in London for possible extradition after being charged in New York.

No arrests were made yet in Maputo.

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