Mozambique delays verdict in ‘tuna bond’ scandal trial

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A court in Mozambique has delayed for three months the verdict of the biggest corruption trial in the country’s history.

The scandal involves more than $2.7bn (£2bn) of undisclosed state debts – money that the government borrowed to set up a sophisticated tuna industry – to buy trawlers and military patrol boats, but much of it was allegedly diverted to corrupt officials.

Those accused include Ndambi Guebuza, son of former President Armando Guebuza, and 18 others. They were charged with blackmail, embezzlement and money laundering.

The younger Guebuza denied the charges and said the accusations were politically motivated.

The verdict was due for 1 August but has now been pushed to 30 November.

Judge Efigénio Baptista cited the complexity of the case and the volume of 30,000 pages of evidence as occasioning the delay.

The trial started in August last year on the grounds of a maximum-security prison on the outskirts of the capital, Maputo. Source: BBC