|Born||26 Juin 1952
Aldershot, Ingland, UK
Sierra Leone Ceevil War
Failed coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea
|Relations||George Mann (faither)
Frank Mann (grandfaither)
|Ither wirk||wirkit for a number o private militar corporations includin Sandline International|
Simon Francis Mann (born 26 Juin 1952) is a Breetish mercenary an umwhile Breetish Airmy officer. He haed been servin a 34-year preeson sentence in Equatorial Guinea for his role in a failed coup d'état in 2004, afore receivin a presidential pardon on humanitarian grunds on 2 November 2009.
Mann wis extraditit (his wird "kidnapped" acause o there being nae extradition treaty) frae Zimbabwe tae Equatorial Guinea on 1 Februar 2008, haein been accused o plannin a coup d'état tae owerthrow the govrenment bi leadin a mercenary force intae the caipital Malabo in an effort tae kidnap or kill Preses Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Chairges in Sooth Africae o aidin a coup in a foreign kintra wur dropped on 23 Februar 2007, but the chairges remained in Equatorial Guinea, whare he haed been convictit in absentia in November 2004. He lost an extradition hearin tae Equatorial Guinea efter servin three years o a fower-year preeson sentence in Zimbabwe for the same creemes an being released early on guid behaviour. On the arrival o Mann in Equatorial Guinea for his trial in Malabo, public Prosecutor Jose Olo Obono said that Mann wad face three chairges – creemes against the heid o state, creemes against the govrenment, an creemes against the peace an unthirldom o the state. On 7 Julie 2008, Mann wis sentencit tae 34 years an fower months in preeson bi a court in Equatorial Guinea. He wis released on 2 November 2009, on humanitarian grunds.
Table o contents
Early life[edit | edit source]
Simon Mann's faither, George Mann, captained the Ingland cricket team in the late 1940s an wis an heir tae a stake in the Watney Mann brewin empire that closed in 1979, haeing been acquired bi Grand Metropolitan (which, in 1997, became Diageo plc on its merger wi Guinness). His mither is Sooth African.
Militar career[edit | edit source]
Efter leavin Eton College, Mann trained tae be an officer at Sandhurst an wis commissioned intae the Scots Guards on 16 December 1972. By 1976 he held the rank of Lieutenant. He later became a member o the SAS an servit in Cyprus, Germany, Norawa an Northren Ireland afore leavin the forces in 1985. He wis re-cawed tae action frae the reserves for the Guwf War.
Post-militar career[edit | edit source]
Mann then entered the field o computer security; housomeivver, his interest in this industry lapsed when he returned frae his service in the Guwf an he entered the ile industry tae wirk wi Tony Buckingham. Buckingham haed a militar backgrund anaw an haed been a diver in the North Sea ile industry afore joinin a Canadian ile firm.
In 1993 UNITA rebels in Angolae seizit the port o Soyo, an closed its ile installations. The Angolan govrenment unner Jose Eduardo dos Santos socht mercenaries tae seize back the port an asked for assistance frae Buckingham who haed bi nou formit his awn company. Buckingham hired a Sooth African organisation cried Executive Outcomes, in which Mann an Buckingham wur involvit.
Sandline International[edit | edit source]
- Main airticle: Tim Spicer
Mann went on tae establish Sandline International wi fellow ex-Scots Guards Colonel Tim Spicer in 1996. The company operatit maistly in Angolae an Sierra Leone, but in 1997 Sandline receivit a commission frae the govrenment o Papua New Guinea tae suppress a rebellion on the island o Bougainville an the company came tae internaitional prominence, but receivit hintle negative publicity follaein the Sandline affair. Sandline International annooncit the closur o the company's operations on 16 Aprile 2004. In an interview on the Today Programme Simon Mann indicatit that the operations in Angolae haed nettit mair than £10M.
Equatorial Guinea coup attempt[edit | edit source]
- Main airticle: 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt
On 7 Mairch 2004 Simon Mann an 69 ithers wur arrestit in Zimbabwe when their Boeing 727 wis seizit bi security forces durin a stop-aff at Harare airport whare the aircraft wis due tae be loadit wi £100,000 wirth o weapons an equipment. The men wur chairgit wi violatin the kintra's immigration, fireairms an security laws an later accused o engagin in an attempt tae stage a coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile aicht suspectit mercenaries, ane o whom later dee'd in preeson, wur detained in Equatorial Guinea in connection wi the allegit plot.
Mann an the ithers claimit that they wur no on their wa tae Equatorial Guinea but wur in fact flyin tae the Democratic Republic o Congo in order tae provide security for diamond mines awned bi JFPI Corporation. Mann an his colleagues wur put on trial in Zimbabwe, an, on 27 August, Mann wis foond guilty o attemptin tae buy airms for an allegit coup plot an sentencit tae 7 years impreesonment. 66 o the ithers wur acquittit.
On 25 August 2004, Sir Mark Thatcher, son o umwhile Breetish Prime Meenister Margaret Thatcher, wis arrestit at his hame in Cape Toun, Sooth Africae. He eventually pleadit guilty (unner a plea bargain) tae negligently supplyin financial assistance for the plot. The 14 men in the mercenary advance guard that wur caught in Equatorial Guinea wur sentencit tae jail for 34 years. Amang the advance guard wis Nick du Toit who claimit that he haed been introducit tae Thatcher bi Mann.
Investigations would later reveal in the financial records of Mann's holdings that large transfers of money were made to Nick du Toit, as well as approximately US$2 million coming in from an untraceable and unknown source. On 10 September Mann was sentenced to seven years in jail. His compatriots received one-year sentences for violating immigration laws and their two pilots got 16 months. The group's Boeing 727 was seized, as well as the US$180,000 that was found on board the plane.
Chairges dropped an extradition[edit | edit source]
On 23 February 2007, the charges were dropped against Mann and the other alleged conspirators in South Africa. Mann remained in Zimbabwe, where he was convicted of charges from the same incident. On 2 May 2007 a Zimbabwe court ruled that Mann should be extradited to Equatorial Guinea to face charges. The Zimbabwean judge ruled that he should be extradited to Equatorial Guinea, although the Zimbabweans promised that he would not be faced with the death penalty. His extradition was described as the "oil for Mann" deal, in reference to the large amounts of oil that Mugabe has managed to secure from Equatorial Guinea. The Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea, where Mann was sent, is notorious for its bad conditions. Mann lost his last appeal against the decision to extradite him. In a last-ditch effort on 30 January 2008, Mann tried to appeal the judgment to the Zimbabwean Supreme Court.
Response bi UK Parliamentarians[edit | edit source]
Concern for Simon Mann's plight was raised in the UK Parliament in the year of his arrest in Zimbabwe by three Conservative Members of Parliament. In the two years after government of Equatorial Guinea applied for his extradition, three further Conservative Party MPs submitted written questions.
However, it was the sudden extradition which drew the greatest response. Julian Lewis said in Parliament:
|“||My constituent, Mr. Simon Mann, has completed his jail sentence in Zimbabwe but has been transferred by the Mugabe regime to a potentially terrible fate in Equatorial Guinea, despite the fact that his appeals processes have not been completed and despite the assurances given to the British ambassador to Zimbabwe that that would not happen. May we have a statement as soon as possible on the Floor of the House from the Foreign Secretary about what action is going to be taken? Quiet diplomacy has failed and we now have to save Mr. Mann, whatever he has or has not done, from torture and a horrible death in a terrible situation.||”|
His position was supported by three other Conservative MPs during the debate. Written questions were submitted by a fourth. There was a request that the United States administration, who had access to Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison on 6 February 2008, exert its influence "to secure [his] safe return".
UK officials were granted access to him on 12 February. The only non-Conservative Party MP to submit a question in Parliament about him was Vince Cable, although an Early Day Motion about his treatment in prison received some cross-party support.
On 8 March 2008, Channel 4 in the UK won a legal battle to broadcast an interview with Mann in which he named British political figures, including Ministers, alleged to have given tacit approval to the coup plot. In testimony he spoke frankly about the events leading to the botched attempt to topple Equatorial Guinea's president.
Despite their charges being unrelated, Mann was tried alongside six Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea activists being held on weapons charges, including opposition leader Severo Moto's former secretary Gerardo Angüe Mangue. On 7 July 2008, Mann was sentenced by the Equatorial Guinea court to more than 34 years in jail.
Release[edit | edit source]
Mann in popular media[edit | edit source]
- In 2002 Mann played Colonel Derek Wilford o the Parachute Regiment for Granada Television's Bloody Sunday, a dramatisation bi Paul Greengrass o the events o Bloody Sunday.
- The alleged coup planned for Equatorial Guinea is the subject of the film Coup!, written by John Fortune. Simon Mann is played bi Jared Harris, wi Robert Bathurst as Mark Thatcher. (The film takes care no tae suggest that Thatcher knew aboot the coup plot.) It wis broadcast on BBC 2 on 30 Juin 2006 an on ABC (Australie) on 21 Januar 2008.
- Simon Mann wis interviewed frae preeson in the documentary Once Upon A Coup, which aired on PBS's Wide Angle in August 2009.
Writins[edit | edit source]
- Cry Havoc, Bi Simon Mann. John Blake; 351 pages
See an aw[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Haroon Siddique and Giles Tremlett (2 November 2009). "British coup plot mercenary Simon Mann has been pardoned". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2 November 2009.
- Andy McSmith (2 February 2008). "Zimbabwe sends British mercenary to face the despot he plotted to overthrow". The Independent (London). Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- "SA court drops coup plot charges". BBC News. 23 February 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- Kim Sengupta (11 May 2007). "Coup plotter faces life in Africa's most notorious jail". London: pub. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- "UK mercenary on trial in Equitorial Guinea". BBC News. 05:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 06:34 UK. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- Mann jailed for Eq. Guinea coup plot, Reuters, 7 July 2008
- British mercenary Simon Mann receives presidential pardon
- "Simon Mann returned to England", 6 November 2009
- London Gazette: . 29 January 1973. Retrieved 1 December 2009. (Inglis)
- London Gazette: . 7 December 1976. Retrieved 1 December 2009. (Inglis)
- "The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 27 October 2011".
- "'Mercenary leader' found guilty". BBC News. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- "Zimbabwe jails UK 'coup plotter'". BBC News. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- Russell Miller (8 June 2008). "Mark Thatcher: Man on the run". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 17 June 2008. "in January 2005 Thatcher pled guilty in South Africa, after a plea bargain, to "unwittingly" abetting the coup. He was fined 3 million rand (£266,000), given a suspended four-year jail term, and obliged to leave South Africa, his home for a decade."
- "Coup plotters jailed in Equitorial Guinea". BBC News. 26 November 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- Mann in the middle of two African dictators Hugh Russell, The First Post, 2 May 2007
- BBC NEWS, Mann loses extradition appeal
- "Zimbabwe deports Mann to Eq. Guinea". BBC News. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- David Pallister (5 February 2008). "Zimbabwe accused as Briton sent to Equatorial Guinea jail". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 February 2008.
- Henry Bellingham Debates, 18 March 2004 col. 449 Business of the House
- Peter Bottomley Written answers, 20 May 2004 col. 1168W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Hugo Swire Written answers, 9 December 2004 col. 730W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Ben Wallace Written answers, 5 June 2006 col. 317W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Equatorial Guinea
- James Arbuthnot Written answers, 14 December 2006 col. 1302W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Written answers, 7 July 2007 col. 1005W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Julian Lewis Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1134 Business of the House
- John Whittingdale Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1137 Business of the House
- Richard Benyon Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1138 Business of the House
- Mark Harper Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1139 Business of the House
- Iain Duncan Smith Written answers, 18 February 2008 col. 181W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Julian Lewis Written answers, 18 February 2008 col. 180W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
- Earl Cathcart Lords Written answers, 20 February 2008 col. WA66 House of Lords – Equatorial Guinea: Simon Mann
- Vince Cable Written answers, 21 February 2008 col. 180W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Equatorial Guinea: Prisoners
- "EDM: Conduct of Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea towards Simon Mann". UK Parliament. 6 May 2008.
- "I was not the main man", Jonathan Miller, Channel 4, 11 March 2008
- "Equatorial Guinea". Amnesty International. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- IMDb entry
- "BBC Drama – Coup!". BBC. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
Further readin[edit | edit source]
- Robert Young Pelton. Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Reprint edition (28 August 2007) ed.). Three Rivers Press. p. 368. ISBN 1-4000-9782-7. – covers the coup attempt and aftermath by Nick du Toit and Simon Mann
- Robert Young Pelton. Three Worlds Gone Mad: Dangerous Journeys through the War Zones of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific (First edition (1 December 2003) ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-59228-100-1. – covers the birth and rise of Executive Outcomes and Sandline as well as the events in Sierra Leone and Bougainville
- Roberts, Adam (2006). The Wonga Coup, Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa. Public Affairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-371-5.
Freemit airtins[edit | edit source]
- Profile: Simon Mann, BBC News, 10 September 2004
- Simon Mann Dossier, by Journalismus Nachrichten von Heute
- Q&A: Equatorial Guinea coup plot, BBC World News
- "A Coup for a Mountain of Wonga"
- "British Mercenary Simon Mann's last Journey?"
- "The trial of Simon Mann"
- Leet for Simon Mann at the Internet Movie Database (Inglis)