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26 May 2004 08:47
The escaped killer of a Mozambican journalist who exposed the country’s biggest bank fraud has requested refugee status in Canada, a Justice Ministry official said on Tuesday.
Officials in Mozambique earlier said that Anibal Antonio dos Santos, alias Anibalzinho, was arrested by Interpol at Toronto airport.
Canadian immigration and citizenship authorities declined to confirm those details, in line with government policy on immigration cases.
But Justice Ministry spokesperson Patrick Charette said that Anilbalzinho had claimed refugee status.
He had escaped from a jail in Maputo while serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso, who had been investigating a 14-million-dollar bank fraud and exerting pressure on authorities to bring the culprits to book.
About 20 people are accused of involvement in the fraud at Banco Comercial de Mocambique (BCM) just before its privatisation in 1996.
Canada does not currently have an extradition treaty with Mozambique. - Sapa-AFP
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