Simon Mann

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Simon Mann
Simon Mann
Born (1952-06-26) 26 Juin 1952 (age 69)
Aldershot, Ingland, UK
Allegiance Unitit Kinrick
Service/branchScots Guards
SAS
Battles/wars1991 Guwf War
Wirkin fur Private Militar Companies:
Bougainville Uprisin
Sierra Leone Ceevil War
Failed coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea
RelationsGeorge Mann (faither)
Frank Mann (grandfaither)
Ither wirkwirkit fur a number o private militar corporations includin Sandline International

Simon Francis Mann (born 26 Juin 1952) is a British mercenary an umwhile British Airmy officer. He haed been servin a 34-year prison sentence in Equatorial Guinea fur his pairt in a failt coup d'état in 2004, afore bein gien a presidential pardon on humanitarian grunds on 2 November 2009.[1]

Mann wis exrtraditit frae Zimbabwe tae Equatorial Guinea on 1 Februar 2008,[2] haein been accused o plannin a coup d'état tae owerthraw 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 furren kintra wis drappit on 23 Februar 2007,[3] but the chairges remaint in Equatorial Guinea, whaur he haed been convictit in absentia in November 2004. He lost an extradition hearin tae Equatorial Guinea efter servin three year o a fower-year preeson sentence in Zimbabwe fur the same crimes an bein released early on guid behaviour.[4] On the arrival o Mann in Equatorial Guinea fur his trial in Malabo, public Prosecutor Jose Olo Obono said that Mann wid face three chairges – crimes agin the heid o state, crimes agin the govrenment, an crimes agin the peace an unthirldom o the state.[5] On 7 Julie 2008, Mann wis sentenced tae 34 year an fower month in prison bi a coort in Equatorial Guinea.[6] He wis released on 2 November 2009, on humanitarian grunds.[7][8]

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Simon Mann's faither, George Mann, wis the captain o the Ingland cricket team in the late 1940s an wis an heir tae a stake in the Watney Mann brewin empire that shut in 1979, haeing been bocht oot bi Grand Metropolitan (that, in 1997, became Diageo plc on its merger wi Guinness). His mither is Sooth African.

Militar career[eedit | eedit soorce]

Efter leavin Eton College, Mann traint tae be an officer at Sandhurst an wis commissioned intae the Scots Guards on 16 December 1972.[9] Bi 1976 he held the rank of Lieutenant.[10] He later becam a memmer 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 fur the Guwf War.

Post-militar career[eedit | eedit soorce]

Mann then entered the field o computer security; housomeivver, his interest in this industry lapsed whan he returnt 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 jynin a Canadian ile firm.

In 1993 UNITA rebels in Angolae teuk the port o Soyo, an closed its ile installations. The Angolan govrenment unner Jose Eduardo dos Santos socht mercenaries tae tak back the port an asked fur assistance frae Buckingham that haed bi nou pit thegither his ain company. Buckingham hired a Sooth African organisation cried Executive Outcomes, that Mann an Buckingham wis involved in.

Sandline International[eedit | eedit soorce]

Mann went on tae establish Sandline International wi fellae 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 isle o Bougainville an the company came tae internaitional prominence, but receivit hintle negative publicity follaein the Sandline affair. Sandline International annoonced 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 gaint mair nor £10M.[11]

Equatorial Guinea coup attempt[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 7 Mairch 2004 Simon Mann an 69 ithers wis arrestit in Zimbabwe whan thair Boeing 727 wis seized bi security forces durin a stap-aff at Harare airport whaur the aircraft wis due tae be loadit wi £100,000 wirth o wappens an equipment. The men wis chairged 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 that later dee'd in prison, wis haudit in Equatorial Guinea in connection wi the allegit plot.

Mann an the ithers claimt that thay wurnae on thair wey tae Equatorial Guinea but wur in fact flyin tae the Democratic Republic o Congo in order tae gie security fur diamond mines awnt bi JFPI Corporation. Mann an his colleagues wis pit on trial in Zimbabwe, an, on 27 August, Mann wis fand guilty o attemptin tae buy airms fur an allegit coup plot an sentenced tae 7 year in prison.[12] 66 o the ithers wur acquittit.[13]

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 fur the plot.[14] The 14 men in the mercenary advance gaird that wis caucht in Equatorial Guinea wis sentenced tae jyle fur 34 year.[15] Amang the advance guard wis Nick du Toit that claimt that he haed been introduced tae Thatcher bi Mann.

Investigations wid later kythe in the financial records o Mann's haudins that muckle transfers o siller wis made tae Nick du Toit, as weel as aboot US$2 million comin in frae an untraceable an unkent soorce. On 10 September Mann wis sentenced tae seiven year in jyle. His compatriots received ane-year sentences fur violating immigration laws an thair twa pilots got 16 month. The group's Boeing 727 wis seized, as well as the US$180,000 that wis fand abuird the plane.

Chairges dropped an extradition[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 23 Februar 2007, the charges wis drappit agin Mann an the ither alleged conspirators in Sooth Africae. Mann remaint in Zimbabwe, whaur he wis convictit o charges frae the same incident.[3] On 2 Mey 2007 a Zimbabwe coort ruled that Mann sud be extradited tae Equatorial Guinea tae face chairges. The Zimbabwean judge ruled that he sud be extradited tae Equatorial Guinea, awtho the Zimbabweans promised that he widnae face the daith penalty. His extradition wis descrieved as the "oil for Mann" deal, in reference tae the muckle amoonts o ile that Mugabe haed managed tae secure frae Equatorial Guinea. The Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea, whaur Mann wis sent, is notorious fur its awfa conditions. Mann lost his last appeal agin the decision tae extradite him.[5][16] In a last-ditch effort on 30 Januar 2008, Mann tried tae appeal the judgment tae the Zimbabwean Supreme Court.[17]

The next day Mann wis deported tae Equatorial Guinea in secret, leadin tae claims bi his lawyers that the extradition wis hastened tae defeat the possibility of appeal tae the Supreme Court.[18][19]

Response bi UK Parliamentarians[eedit | eedit soorce]

Concern fur Simon Mann's plight wis raised in the UK Parliament in the year o his arrest in Zimbabwe bi three Conservative Memmers o Parliament.[20][21][22] In the twa year efter the govrenment of Equatorial Guinea applee'd fur his extradition, three forder Conservative Party MPs pit forrit written quaistens.[23][24][25]

Houiver, it wis the sudden extradition that 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.[26]

His poseition wis supported bi three ither Conservative MPs durin the debate.[27][28][29] Written questions war submitted bi a fowert.[30] Thare wis a request that the United States admeenistration, who haed access tae Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison on 6 Februar 2008, exert its influence "to secure [his] safe return".[31]

UK officials wis gien access tae him on 12 Februar.[32] The anly non-Conservative Party MP tae submit a quaisten in Parliament aboot him wis Vince Cable,[33] awtho an Early Day Motion aboot his treatment in prison received some cross-party support.[34]

On 8 Mairch 2008, Channel 4 in the UK wan a legal battle tae broadcast an interview wi Mann in whilk he named British political figures, includin Ministers, said tae hae gien tacit appruival fur the coup plot.[35] In testimony he spoke frankly aboot the events leadin tae the botched attempt tae topple Equatorial Guinea's preses.[35]

Despite thair charges bein unrelatit, Mann wis tried alangside sax Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea activists bein held on wappens chairges, includin opposition leader Severo Moto's umwhile secretar Gerardo Angüe Mangue.[36] On 7 Julie 2008, Mann wis sentenced bi the Equatorial Guinea court tae mair nor 34 year in jyle.[6]

Release[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 2 November 2009 he wis gien "a complete pardon on humanitarian grunds" bi Preses Teodoro Obiang Nguema.[7] He wis back in Ingland bi 6 November.[8]

Mann in popular media[eedit | eedit soorce]

Writins[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Cry Havoc, Bi Simon Mann. John Blake; 351 pages

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Haroon Siddique and Giles Tremlett (2 November 2009). "British coup plot mercenary Simon Mann has been pardoned". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  2. Andy McSmith (2 Februar 2008). "Zimbabwe sends British mercenary to face the despot he plotted to overthrow". The Independent. London. Archived frae the original on 30 Juin 2008. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  3. a b "SA court drops coup plot charges". BBC News. 23 Februar 2007. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  4. Kim Sengupta (11 Mey 2007). "Coup plotter faces life in Africa's most notorious jail". London: pub. Archived frae the original on 11 Juin 2008. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  5. a b "UK mercenary on trial in Equitorial Guinea". BBC News. 05:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 06:34 UK. Retrieved 17 June 2008. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. a b Mann jailed for Eq. Guinea coup plot, Reuters, 7 July 2008
  7. a b British mercenary Simon Mann receives presidential pardon
  8. a b "Simon Mann returned to England", 6 November 2009
  9. "No. 45892". The London Gazette (invalid |supp= (help)). 29 Januar 1973.
  10. "No. 47083". The London Gazette (invalid |supp= (help)). 7 December 1976.
  11. "The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 27 October 2011". |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. "'Mercenary leader' found guilty". BBC News. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  13. "Zimbabwe jails UK 'coup plotter'". BBC News. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  14. Russell Miller (8 Juin 2008). "Mark Thatcher: Man on the run". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 17 Juin 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.
  15. "Coup plotters jailed in Equitorial Guinea". BBC News. 26 November 2004. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  16. Mann in the middle of two African dictators Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Hugh Russell, The First Post, 2 May 2007
  17. BBC NEWS, Mann loses extradition appeal
  18. "Zimbabwe deports Mann to Eq. Guinea". BBC News. 1 Februar 2008. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.
  19. David Pallister (5 Februar 2008). "Zimbabwe accused as Briton sent to Equatorial Guinea jail". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 Februar 2008.
  20. Henry Bellingham Debates, 18 March 2004 col. 449 Business of the House
  21. Peter Bottomley Written answers, 20 May 2004 col. 1168W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  22. Hugo Swire Written answers, 9 December 2004 col. 730W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  23. Ben Wallace Written answers, 5 June 2006 col. 317W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Equatorial Guinea
  24. James Arbuthnot Written answers, 14 December 2006 col. 1302W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  25. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Written answers, 7 July 2007 col. 1005W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  26. Julian Lewis Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1134 Business of the House
  27. John Whittingdale Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1137 Business of the House
  28. Richard Benyon Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1138 Business of the House
  29. Mark Harper Debates, 7 February 2008 col. 1139 Business of the House
  30. Iain Duncan Smith Written answers, 18 February 2008 col. 181W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  31. Julian Lewis Written answers, 18 February 2008 col. 180W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Simon Mann
  32. Earl Cathcart Lords Written answers, 20 February 2008 col. WA66 House of Lords – Equatorial Guinea: Simon Mann
  33. Vince Cable Written answers, 21 February 2008 col. 180W Foreign and Commonwealth affairs – Equatorial Guinea: Prisoners
  34. "EDM: Conduct of Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea towards Simon Mann". UK Parliament. 6 Mey 2008. Archived frae the original on 18 Juin 2009. Retrieved 25 Julie 2012.
  35. a b "I was not the main man", Jonathan Miller, Channel 4, 11 March 2008
  36. "Equatorial Guinea". Amnesty International. Archived frae the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 19 Januar 2012.
  37. IMDb entry
  38. "BBC Drama – Coup!". BBC. 30 Juin 2006. Retrieved 17 Juin 2008.

Further readin[eedit | eedit soorce]

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]