🔒 Mozambique ex-minister coming home for Tuna Bond trial – The Wall Street Journal

The US has been eager to prosecute the players in the tuna bond scandal, but it looks like one fish is slipping out of its nets. Former Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang will be heading home to face the music, rather than to the US. Given America’s success in prosecuting the participants in the $2bn corruption scandal, the decision to send Chang to Mozambique may raise some eyebrows – there’s a chance he’ll get off more lightly than his alleged co-conspirators at Credit Suisse. On the other hand, Mozambique has a lot of egg on its face over this matter and it may be strongly motivated to make an example of Chang. One can only hope that justice prevails and that South African prosecutors are looking at these cases as an example of what can be done when it comes to state corruption. – Felicity Duncan

Mozambique ex-minister to be extradited home rather than to US

By Gabriele Steinhauser and Thandi Ntobela

JOHANNESBURG — Mozambique’s former finance minister, who has been indicted in the US in connection with an alleged $2bn corruption scheme, will be extradited to his home country rather than to the US, South Africa’s justice ministry said Tuesday.
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The former minister, Manuel Chang, was arrested in late December at Johannesburg’s international airport on a US warrant after a grand jury in New York indicted him for his alleged role in arranging $2bn in fraudulent debt that plunged his country into a financial crisis.

But shortly after the US filed a request to extradite Mr. Chang to stand trial there, Mozambique made a rival request, saying it wants the former minister and current member of parliament to face fraud charges linked to the same debt scheme at home. A South African court ruled both requests to be valid, leaving the decision of where Mr. Chang should go to Justice Minister Michael Masutha.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Masutha said he decided in favour of the Mozambican request after taking into account that the alleged crime was committed while he was a minister in South Africa’s neighbour and that the country now carries the burden of the resulting debt.

The decision is a setback for the US Justice Department, which has been taking a more aggressive stance policing the intersection of high finance and corruption in emerging markets. Civil-society groups and opposition politicians in Mozambique have said they believe Mozambique’s recent moves to prosecute officials allegedly involved in the fraudulent debt scheme may be an attempt to disrupt more serious efforts elsewhere.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at [email protected]

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