Pretty damning report in today’s Sunday Times about the Equatorial Guinea coup plot that Mark Thatcher was involved in last year.
The papers, passed to The Sunday Times by South African intelligence sources, reveal that the plotters had created a trading company to control the oil-rich West African state.
The company would have controlled the country as a private fiefdom, modelled on the British East India Company, which ran vast swathes of India before it formally became part of the empire.
This comparison is interesting given the links between coup plotter Simon Mann and Tim Spicer. At an Oxford conference in December, Spicer cited the East India Company as a precedent for mercenary firms like his own Aegis Defence Services which is currently operating in Iraq.
The report also gives an insight into the priorities of the coup plotters:
“From our point of view he (Moto) needs to achieve power by coup or putsch; not by public acclamation on return, or by political dealing after it. We need to be fundamental to him retaining it,” the document says.