The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of Mozambique admitted today that former finance minister Manuel Chang will be extradited to the US, as part of the hidden debt case, “there being no more space for appeal”.
The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) of South Africa rejected this Wednesday, for the second time in 12 months, a new appeal by the PGR against the extradition of former minister Manuel Chang to the US.
In a press release, the Mozambican judicial entity acknowledges that, in practice, the decision of the South African court means that the former minister will be handed over to the US justice, which intends to take him to trial for his alleged involvement in the case of the undeclared debts.
On Wednesday, the South African Constitutional Court “ordered the extradition of Manuel Chang to the United States of America, a decision taken by the last instance, with no further room for any appeal”, reads the communique issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
“This decision has negative implications for ongoing cases in Mozambique and abroad. Mozambique continues to understand that its grounds [for Manuel Chang’s repatriation request] are valid and, unfortunately, at no time were they attended to by the South African courts”, continues the text.
For the Mozambican PGR, the only competent jurisdiction to try Manuel Chang is the Mozambican one, because that is where the facts occurred and the injured parties are the Mozambican State and people.
“We will continue with the proceedings brought against Manuel Chang until their conclusion, using all available accountability mechanisms”, advances the statement.
The Attorney General’s Office points out that the former Minister of Finance is accused and has already been indicted by the Judicial Court of Maputo City, within the scope of an autonomous process on the undeclared debts.
On Tuesday, South African jurist André Thomashausen told Lusa that the Constitutional Court dictated “the end of the ending of appeals” from Mozambique against the extradition of its former finance minister Manuel Chang to the United States of America (USA). ).
“It is the end of a very extensive judicial process that has dragged on for well over four years of appeals against the extradition of Manuel Chang”, advanced the jurist and retired Professor from the University of South Africa, specialist in International and Comparative Law.
At the age of 63 (he is now 67), Manuel Chang was arrested on December 29, 2018, at O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg on his way to Dubai, on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the US on December 27, for his alleged involvement in the so-called ‘hidden debts’ case.