Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: REUTERS/SHAFIEK TASSIEM
Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: REUTERS/SHAFIEK TASSIEM

Maputo  — Mozambique’s attorney-general on Monday withdrew appeals to have the country’s former finance minister, Manuel Chang,  sent home from SA, where he is in custody over a $2bn debt scandal.

Both the US and Mozambique want South Africa to extradite Manuel Chang to face charges related to financial crimes. He has  been in custody in Johannesburg for more than a year since his arrest on US charges. Chang has  denied any wrongdoing and  wants to face charges in Mozambique. His government filed a competing extradition request shortly after the US did.

Justice & correctional services minister Ronald Lamola put Chang’s extradition to Mozambique on hold in July after learning that he would have immunity from prosecution there. A Johannesburg court ruled in November that the decision whether to send Chang home must be made by the justice minister.

“The attorney-general’s office instructed its lawyers to withdraw the two pending requests in South African courts, in order to give the minister of justice the opportunity to re-examine the case, based on new developments,” it said in an e-mailed statement. The Mozambican government hoped the move would allow Lamola to send Chang home, the attorney general said.

Bloomberg