Court delays hearing on Mozambique ex-finance minister

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Manuel Chang, former finance minister of Mozambique, appears at the Kempton Park Magistrates court to fight extradition to the United states on January 8 2019 in Kempton Park, South Africa. (Photo credit should read WIKUS DE WET/AFP/Getty Images)
Manuel Chang, former finance minister of Mozambique, appears at the Kempton Park Magistrates court to fight extradition to the United states on January 8 2019 in Kempton Park, South Africa. (Photo credit should read WIKUS DE WET/AFP/Getty Images)

A SA court postponed a hearing into a US request to extradite former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang.

The matter was postponed until Wednesday to allow prosecutors to prepare their submissions, Kempton Park Magistrate Sagra Subroyen said in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Chang was arrested December 29 in South Africa on charges related to debt deals totaling $2bn that led to a default by Mozambique in 2017. He’s said he’ll fight extradition to the US.

Three former Credit Suisse Group AG bankers were charged in New York last week with defrauding U.S. investors after helping arrange hidden loans to Mozambique. The bank, which wasn’t named as a defendant in that indictment, said it was deceived by its own staff.

Chang signed papers on behalf of the government of Mozambique to guarantee the debts if the projects didn’t pay off, according to a US Department of Justice indictment. Chang served as finance minister when Mozambique took on the foreign debt in 2013 and 2014 to finance a tuna-fishing fleet and maritime-surveillance project.

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