A former British army officer turned mercenary has gone on trial in connection with an alleged coup plot against the president of Equatorial Guinea in 2004. Simon Mann faces more than 30 years’ behind bars.
Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of the UK’s former Prime Minister, was also named as one of the organisers of the failed coup in the oil-rich nation. Mann was arrested with dozens of other suspects when their plane was impounded in Zimbabwe, four years ago. He has already served a jail term there on arms charges.
His defence lawyer has told the court Mann was part of the plot but was not a ringleader. Sir Mark Thatcher denies knowingly being involved in any planned coup. Arrested in South Africa on suspicion of bankrolling the plot, he was released after agreeing to a plea bargain.