U.S. or Mozambique - Another Twist in Chang Extradition Case?

South Africa's Justice Minister Ronald Lamola acted against the advice of his own top legal officials - which he himself seemed to endorse - when he decided in August 2021 to extradite former Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang to Mozambique, where it's suspected he enjoys immunity from prosecution, instead of to the United States, Peter Fabricius writes for The Daily Maverick.

A July 27, 2020 memorandum drafted by Justice Department officials on the basis of five legal opinions - which Lamola himself signed - recommended that Chang should be extradited to the U.S. and not to Mozambique. The controversial memorandum is among the papers which Lamola has filed in the Johannesburg High Court defending his decision to extradite Chang to Mozambique. He is opposing an application by the Mozambique watchdog NGO Fórum de Monitoria do Orçamento - for a court order overturning this decision. The court is scheduled to hear the case on September 17, 2021. Chang is wanted in the U.S. for crimes involving conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud.

Meanwhile, in Mozambique Renato Matusse, who had once been a political adviser to former President Armando Guebuza, has denied receiving a bribe of U.S.2 million from the Abu Dhabi based group, Privinvest. Instead, Matusse admitted that his friend Jean Boustani, who is a senior Privinvest official, had purchased houses and other goods for him valued at over U.S.$1.66 million.


South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola.

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