Wanted U.S. millionaire starts Namibia student fund

WINDHOEK Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:09am EDT

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WINDHOEK (Reuters) - A U.S. millionaire, wanted on multiple counts in the United States in connection with a stock manipulation scandal, has set up a scholarship fund in Namibia just days before the start of his extradition case.

Namibia's Ministry of Education said on Monday that former U.S. software executive Jacob "Kobi" Alexander established the Kobi and Hana Alexander Scholarship Fund with his wife Hana to boost academic interest in science and technology.

"Through the scholarship Mr. Alexander is committing a sum of N$150 000 ($21,345) per annum for rewarding top performing students both at primary and secondary school levels," the ministry said in a statement.

Alexander, a former chief executive and founder of New York-based software maker Comverse Technology Inc., has been fighting extradition to the United States since shortly after his arrest in Namibia in September.

His extradition hearing is scheduled to begin on Wednesday in the Namibian capital Windhoek.

Since his arrest, Alexander has expressed a desire to stay in Namibia and pledged to invest a total of 100 million Namibian dollars in the nation during the next five years through his Kobi Alexander Enterprises venture.

The Namibian government has described Alexander, who is free on bail, as "very passionate" about the country and its people.

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