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The Former Mozambique Finance Minister Says Arrest at OR Tambo Airport Was Uncalled For


The Former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang is to remain behind bars after briefly appearing in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Through his lawyers, the 63-year-old argued that his detention was unlawful and that his extradition, if carried out, would also be illegal.

Chang was on his way to Dubai when he was arrested on December 30 at OR Tambo International Airport in terms of a United States warrant of arrest.

It is alleged that the former minister approved secret loans that led to the country being plunged into a financial crisis.

Last week, police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said Chang had been red-flagged by Interpol.

People are put on Interpol’s red list at the request of member countries which want another member country to provisionally arrest a wanted person, pending extradition.

Although Chang’s lawyers attempted to have cameras barred in court, the magistrate granted the media permission to use cameras.

Magistrate Sagra Subroyen postponed the matter to Tuesday so that she can peruse the written arguments which the State and the defense submitted.

A day after his arrest, Mozambican news outlet Carta de Mozambique reported that Chang could face up to 45 years in prison. He is reportedly wanted for conspiracy for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering, according to an arrest warrant the newspaper saw.

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