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Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang to be tried in US as ConCourt rejects appeal

Manuel Chang, former finance minister of Mozambique.

Manuel Chang, former finance minister of Mozambique.

The Constitutional Court has unanimously rejected a last-ditch attempt by Mozambique’s ex-finance minister, Manuel Chang, to avoid being extradited to the US to face trial for grand corruption and the plundering of state resources.

On Tuesday, the apex court dismissed Chang’s efforts to appeal a November 2021 ruling by Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg Judge Margaret Victor, who overturned Justice Minister Ronald Lamola’s decision to extradite Chang back to Mozambique.

Chang was arrested in transit through OR Tambo International Airport in December 2018 on an arrest warrant issued by the US government.

American authorities indicted Chang, who has been implicated in the looting of developmental funds, because it said many US investors, who had provided these funds, had been defrauded. 

READ | Manuel Chang: US trial offers hope of exposing ‘high-level government corruption’ in Mozambique

In January 2019, the US asked South Africa to extradite Chang to America to stand trial.

It was only a few days later that Mozambique asked Pretoria to rather extradite him to Mozambique.

The Constitutional Court dismissed Chang’s appeal application, with costs, on the basis that it did not have reasonable prospects of success.

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