Former Mozambican official seeks to avoid extradition to US

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A former Mozambican finance minister is trying to avoid being extradited from South Africa to the United States over a $2 billion loan scandal that plunged Mozambique into financial crisis.

Manuel Chang was in a South African court on Wednesday as his lawyer argued that proper procedures were not followed when the former official was detained at the main international airport in Johannesburg on Dec. 29. The prosecution says the arrest was valid.

A U.S. federal indictment ties Chang and other defendants to an alleged fraud scheme involving companies created by Mozambique to obtain loans earmarked for projects including coastal surveillance and tuna fishing. The indictment says the projects were fronts allowing the defendants to pay at least $200 million in bribes and kickbacks to themselves, government officials and others.

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