June 18, 2008

Simon Mann Says Mark Thatcher Planned Coup

British mercenary Simon Mann alleged in court that Sir Mark Thatcher belonged to the management team that planned a 2004 coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.

Mann, a former British Army officer and security expert, said federal officials in South Africa and Spain also gave support for the coup plot, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Mann said in a Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, court that Thatcher, who is the son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, came on board completely and became part of the management team.

Thatcher has said he knew nothing about the plot, The Times said.

By January 2004, the operation was like an official operation because the Spanish government and the South African government were both giving the green light, Mann said.

He added that Spain and South Africa's involvement in the plot was clandestine and they will never admit it.

Mann confesses he is very sorry for taking part in the plot to oust President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, but says he was operating under orders of more senior players.