Ship Salesman Wants Mozambican Ruler to Testify in Trial
(Bloomberg) -- The man who sold Mozambique the maritime projects funded by $2 billion in loans that led to a sovereign default urged President Filipe Nyusi to testify alongside him in an ongoing trial into the so-called hidden debt scandal.
Jean Boustani, an employee at Privinvest Group, the company that supplied a maritime surveillance system and a fleet of tuna boats and helped arrange the financing, said he’s “willing and ready” to appear before a Mozambican judge via videoconferencing in a trial of 19 defendants that includes the son of Nyusi’s predecessor.
“I believe that my testimony (and that of His Excellency President Filipe Nyusi) is crucial for the sake of the truth and open and fair justice,” Boustani said in an emailed statement sent via Azoury & Associates, a Lebanese law company, without giving further detail.
Privinvest has alleged that Nyusi was at the center of the scandal that dates back to when he was defense minister. The president is a defendant in a related case the company filed in London.
The president won’t comment on ongoing lawsuits as he believes in the separation of powers, ruling party spokesman Caifadine Manasse said by phone. He’s previously said that clearing up the hidden debts scandal is a priority, and has done nothing wrong, Manasse said. Nyusi hasn’t been charged in the Maputo case.
Boustani, who a U.S. jury acquitted of fraud charges related to the project in December 2019, also faces accusations from Mozambique and called on prosecutors there to present the details to authorities in Lebanon, where he is a citizen. He denies wrongdoing.
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