Mozambique Government refuses to accredit agency for EU support - Hanlon
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Mozambique’s minister of justice, Joaquim Veríssimo, has said that the public has every interest in seeing Manuel Chang, a former minister of finance, face justice in his own country for alleged corruption in the ‘hidden debts’ case, rather than being sent to the US to face prosecution there.
Mozambique’s people “are the people most injured [by the borrowing and resulting default] and therefore have every interest in judging the one who actually created harm to the public finances,” said Veríssimo, in comments to Radio Mozambique broadcast on Wednesday.
Chang’s extradition to Mozambique rather than to the US instead “aims fundamentally to protect the noblest interests of the Mozambican people,” he argued.
South Africa’s minister of justice on Tuesday announced that, faced with extradition requests from both the US and Mozambique, he had decided to send Chang back to the latter.
Veríssimo welcomed the decision and said that the current government is depending on Chang to collaborate with prosecutors to clarify what happened with the debts.
“Let us hope that he continues to cooperate in the sense that justice can be served in view of the facts that are outlined in the proper legal process,” he said. “We know that the prosecutor’s office and other institutions have from the start dealt with propriety with this issue of hidden debts.”
Chang, three former bankers at Credit Suisse, and a mediator for Privinvest, a Lebanon-based shipbuilding company were detained in December at the request of US prosecutors.
They alleges that an operation to secure $2.2 billion (€2 billion) in loans to finance new public enterprises Ematum, Proindicus and MAM during the term of Armando Guebuza as president reflects a massive corruption and money-laundering effort.
An investigation had been opened in Mozambique itself back in 2015, but only in February, after the US move, were any detentions made, including several public figures, among them people close to Guebuza.Source: Lusa