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FILE - Jean Boustani. [File photo: Zambeze]
The first court session on the hidden debts case and payment of bribes to Mozambique’s government members is to take place on Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, at noon local (7 p.m. in Mozambique).
The hearing may discuss the situation of the eight defendants and the case may have new developments, also considering possible dates for the trial.
The case’s main suspect, Jean Boustani, negotiator of the company Privinvest, is the only one who should attend the initial session, represented by his two lawyers, as he is the only defendant in the US.
The case filed by the US justice department is waiting for the extradition of former Mozambican minister of finance Manuel Chang and three former employees of the Credit Suisse bank, as well as the detention of three other people.
All the defendants are suspected of being involved in a corruption scheme that has harmed the Mozambican state in $2.2 billion (€1.92 billion), due to government-secured loans to Ematum, Proindicus and MAM, which were diverted for the suspects’ self-enrichment .
The case is to be judged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which condemns the payment of bribes to members of foreign government for self-serving business.
Chang, detained on 29 December in South Africa, continues negotiations with South African justice to be extradited to Mozambique instead of the US.
Two other former members of the Mozambican government, whose identities have not yet been disclosed, are also accused in the process, including three Mozambican suspects with smaller roles in the scheme, identified as co-conspirators.