South African court: Mozambican ex-finance minister's detention legal

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Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang appears in court during an extradition hearing in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Shafiek Tassiem NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African judge ruled on Wednesday that the detention of Mozambican former finance minister Manuel Chang over $2 billion of fraudulent loans was legal.

Lawyers for Chang, who was arrested in South Africa on Dec. 29 and denies wrongdoing, argued in court on Tuesday that his detention on U.S. charges was illegal because a request for extradition had not yet been received.

Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Alexander Winning and Kevin Liffey