Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang is to be extradited to the United States to answer charges in a US$2 billion loan scandal that has been headline news in the southern African country over the past three years.In a judgment on Wednesday, Gauteng High Court ruled that Chang, who has been in jail in South Africa since 2018, be extradited to the US to face trial in the multibillion-dollar scandal.
Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri confirmed the ruling on Thursday, saying the ministry would study the judgment to see the way forward in the matter.
“The ministry will study the written judgment as soon as it is made available and communicate the way forward in due course,” Phiri said.
Chang was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in December 2018 in Johannesburg at the request of the US law enforcers who want him to answer to charges relating to his alleged involvement in obtaining fraudulent loans worth billions for Mozambican state firms.
Both the US and Mozambique applied for Chang’s extradition in early 2019, charging him with money laundering, embezzlement and abuse of office.
After initially deciding to extradite Chang to Mozambique in May 2019, South Africa suspended its decision the next month to allow the US lawmakers to file for extradition.