Zimbabwe has extradited Briton Simon Mann, a leader of alleged mercenaries, to Equatorial Guinea to face coup plot charges, his lawyer says.The ex-SAS officer was jailed in Zimbabwe on arms charges in 2004, and rearrested after his release last May.On Wednesday the High Court turned down an appeal against his extradition – his lawyers argued he could face torture.
He was flown out of the country without his legal team’s knowledge before they could lodge a final appeal, they said.
There has been no official confirmation of the extradition from the Zimbabwean government.
Mann, you might remember, was the British mercenary captured in Zimbabwe along with a planeful of former 32 Battalion soldiers, $130,000 in cash and a shitload of weapons en route to Equatorial Guinea. The general gist of things was that Mann was hired to overthrow the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, by a group of businessmen wanting control of EG’s oil exploitation rights. Mann himself was in for a slice of the black gold pie.
Except it all went pear-shaped: South African, Zimbabwean and EG intelligence all knew about the plan, and it’s suspected so did MI6. Mann’s main pack of dogs of war were captured in Harare, whilst a forward group, including South African Nick du Toit, formerly of 32 Battalion, was arrested in EG capital Malabo.
Ex-SAS soldier Simon Mann has extensive previous in the field of ‘private military operations’, having been involved in the setting up of companies such as South African mercenary company Executive Outcomes and the British-registered Sandline International (most famous for its gun-toting asset stripping in places like Sierra Leone and Bougainville).
Am cooking me tea (roast pork & veg), so more later. I’m drawing diagrams an’ everything!