Interesting details are emerging from a court in South Africa where some of the mercenaries involved in the failed 2004 ‘Wonga Coup’ attempt in Equatorial Guinea are on trial.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: South African president Thabo Mbeki was
regularly informed of the progress of an attempted coup in Equatorial
Guinea which was also sanctioned by the United States, Britain and
Spain, a state witness testified Friday.
Sean Abdinor told the Pretoria Regional Court that Simon Mann, the
alleged British coup leader, had assured him the governments of these
countries were involved, the South African Press Association reported. (International Herald Tribune/PA)
We know that there were discussions about the upcoming coup in January 2004 between Foreign Office officials and Tim Spicer, a colleague of coup leader Simon Mann in the mercenary outfit Sandline.
The official version is that the FO told Spicer to warn Mann off. However, Robert Young Pelton has a rather different account.
A source close to Simon Mann recollects being briefed on a different exchange. In this version, Spicer told Mann that he had laid out the full details of coup and desscribed Straw as pleased: "When Spicer met Simon in February last year, just afterhe had met the FO, reports are that TS and SM had a good meeting and that SM was not in the least discouraged by TS’s FO meeting, and whatever TS had to say put him in a good mood." Spicer denies briefing Mann after the meeting. (Licensed to Kill, p323)
Mann himself is now in prison in Zimbabwe, fighting extradition to Zimbabwe, as an article by Dr Alexander Von Paleske notes.