Manuel Chang, Mozambique’s longest serving Finance Minister, has just lost the first round in his attempt to duck U.S. charges he defrauded the Mozambique people out of some $2 billion. A South African Magistrate ruled January 9 that Chang’s December 30 arrest in South Africa, requested by the U.S. Justice Department, was valid. Assuming South Africa stands firm in the face of legal maneuvering by Chang and political pressure by the Mozambique government, Chang will join accomplices in a Brooklyn jail to await trial for corruption.
That the corruption trial of a former official of the one of the world’s poorest nations will be held in the courts of one of the world’s wealthiest and that the trial turns on the strength of a third country ’s legal system and the political resolve of its government shows both the promise – and the risk – of the internationalization of the fight against corruption. Continue reading