Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Simon Mann is Pardoned

Two years ago I was intrigued by a documentary in which Simon Mann gave evidence against some of his 'management team' when he led the botched coup in Equatorial Guinea back in 2004. Mann stood to gain £9m if the coup had succeeded.

The old Etonian and ex-SAS officer was sentenced to 34 years imprisonment but has been released by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema this week on 'humanitarian grounds.'

The father of seven was met yesterday by his wife, Amanda and sister, Sarah, after two months of secret negotiations. But when he touches down today on board a private jet, he will face a barrage of questions.

During his testimony, Mann implicated Mar Thatcher as one of five 'managers' of the plot along with Eli Calil, a Lebanese oil trader based in London. Mr Thatcher was convicted in South Africa in 2005 of unwittingly helping to finance the plot when he paid £140,000 for a helicopter.

The Independent asks a few questions:

* Will Simon Mann stand by his testimony to a court in Equatorial Guinea that Mark Thatcher was part of the "management team" for the coup?

* Will the mercenary also continue to insist that Ely Calil, the reclusive Lebanese oil billionaire, was "the Cardinal" – the powerful businessman who originated the coup plot?

* Did the CIA blow the whistle on the coup attempt to protect the interests of American oil companies?

* Did the Spanish authorities give tacit approval to the plan to replace President Obiang with Severo Moto, an opposition leader in exile in Madrid?

* What knowledge did Britain have of the plans for the coup and did London seek to warn the Obiang regime of what was happening?

It has all the makings of a good espionage novel doesn't it? I wonder if we'll ever be told the ending. There is the possibility that Mr Mann may put pen to paper when he's back in the comfort of his £5m English country residence in Hampshire.


Anonymous said...

I hope we wasn't given a heros welcome because he was VERY released early on humanitarian grounds.

I trust that he will blow the gaff on the odious pratt Mark Thatcher.

I hope that the British authorites will feel that Mr Thatcher (or should we refer to him as Sir Mark seeing as his mother made sure that her husband got an hereditary title) should be arrested next time he comes to visit mummy.

Somehow I'm sure that he'll get off with it. Odious little oink.

Quiet_Man said...

I wonder how long he'll live? If I were he, I wouldn't take any walks in the woods anytime soon.

Demetrius said...

Is what he says the whole story, or is there more out there in the murk. This could get intricate.

subrosa said...

Tris, I should think in order to get his release and knowing that Mar Thatcher got off with it, he's spilt all the can not just a few beans.

subrosa said...

He's an SAS man QM but not even they are safe are they? Especially when the media tell where they sleep every night.

subrosa said...

Demetrius, there's a lot more to this story but it's never come out in the wash.

Mann's evidence at the trial was temptingly revealing without giving the detail that would have made it astonishing rather than just intriguing.

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