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“If you see him, punch him in the face for me”: Scratcher a rent non-paying little mummy’s boy!

There’s a great little piece in English language Andalucian newspaper The Olive Tree about Mark Thatcher facing eviction from his Spanish bolthole in the wake of Fighting Mann’s EG coup trial:

MARK THATCHER is hiding out in a gated community on the Ronda-San Pedro road in fear of being kidnapped.

He fears an international snatch squad has been ordered to extradite him to Equatorial Guinea to face trial in an overthrow plot, he allegedly helped to fund.

This week fellow plot leader Simon Mann was found guilty and sentenced to 34 years in jail.

The son of former UK PM Margaret Thatcher rarely leaves his £3million bolthole in exclusive El Madronal, which has round-the-clock security.

He has installed a series of high-tech security systems in the home, that is owned by a former school friend Stephen Humberstone.

But now his days are numbered after Humberstone ordered him to leave the home he has rented since 2005 over unpaid bills.

Claiming he is three months in arrears to the tune of over 20,000 euros, Mr. Humberstone this week reportedly plans to serve court papers on him via the San Pedro courts.

“I want him off my property as soon as possible. If you see him, punch him in the face for me.

“I have absolutely no idea why a man as wealthy as him, who can still drive a Porsche, cannot pay his rent.

“All I can think is that he has no money. After talking to Mark I get the feeling he is receiving an allowance from his elderly mother.

“He always likes to pay in cash and even though the villa had maximum security he has fitted even more alarm systems. That shows how scared he is because he is a nasty piece of work and he is not liked.

“Despite all this he can still afford a driver and a cook – so why can he not pay his rent?”

Sir Mark, 54, who is estimated to be worth £64million, denies that he is behind in his rent and insists he has received nothing in writing from his landlord.

The piece goes on to talk about Scratcher’s fears of being kidnapped and sent to Equatorial Guinea to face trial, a theme which TOP covers in salacious detail:

Alarmingly for Thatcher there are an estimated 120 international mafia gangs operating on the Costa del Sol, each capable of undertaking kidnap plots.

In 2005 there were a reported 50 plus kidnappings and “settling of accounts” on the coast.

In 2004 a Lithuanian gang kidnapped British businessman Frank Capa in broad daylight on the Ronda-San Pedro road.

The gang released him after nine days when the family paid a reported £1m
ransom.

A police source told the Olive Press: “There are quite a few groups of former soldiers from the Eastern Bloc, highly-trained with no money, and prepared to carry out these sort of crimes.

“There have been an alarming number of kidnappings over the last few years, most of them going unreported.”

Fret not, Scratcher! I’m sure you’ll be fine!

EG coup blog posts:

Fighting Mann earns 34 years

Dude goes down for more than the prosecuting authorities originally asked for!

The sentence is longer than expected. During the trial, José Olo Obano, Equatorial Guinea’s attorney general, urged the court to sentence Mann to 31 years, eight months and three days. The death penalty was not permitted under the terms of Mann’s extradition from Zimbabwe. It was suggested last month that Mann may be released before completing any sentence.

Others in the trial earned smaller sentences: Lebanese businessman Mohamed Salaam got 18 years, while four Equatorial Guineans (not considered worthy in the Western press of having their names published) have gone down for six years, another for one, with a sixth being acquitted.

Oh, and in addition to his thirty-four summers…

Mann was ordered to pay a fine and compensation to the Equatorial Guinea state totalling around $24m (£12.1m). Mangue said in the ruling that Mann failed to show “an attitude of regret”, despite his apology before the court.

Stroll on Scratcher and Smelly!

Fighting Mann drops Scratcher in the shit!

The British mercenary Simon Mann today told an Equatorial Guinea court that Mark Thatcher, the son of the former prime minister, was a committed member of the group that organised the attempted coup in the oil-rich west African state in 2004.

Giving his first detailed account of the planning for the coup, in a clear and confident voice he said Thatcher “was not just an investor, he came completely on board and became a part of the management team”. He said Thatcher had provided $350,000 (£178,000) in funding for the coup.

(Guardian)

And it gets better:

In further testimony, Mann claimed that Spain and South Africa, with the endorsement of President Thabo Mbeki, had supported the plot.

…From the Pentagon in Washington, and from the CIA and the big US oil companies, came tacit approval for regime change, according to Mann.

…The name of Lady Thatcher’s son [Mark Thatcher] cropped up when he was asked about planning meetings in South Africa. Both Mann and Thatcher lived there at the time. Thatcher, who now lives in a gated estate in southern Spain, accepted a plea bargain from the South African authorities in 2005 after he admitted helping to finance a helicopter that he suspected “might be used for mercenary activities.”

…Mann took Thatcher to the Chelsea home of Ely Calil, the Lebanese businessman who is alleged to be the main financier of the plot. He named the management board as Calil, himself, a London property developer, Thatcher and a Lebanese colleague of Calil who lives in Beirut.

…Mann said Calil had initially asked him, in May 2003, to assassinate President Obiang and launch a guerrilla war or a coup. “I said I would not do it, on ethical grounds, and also because it was a very stupid thing to do,” Mann said. He accepted he was doing the job for money – said to be $15m – but he claimed he was sympathetic to the story he was told that oil money was not reaching the people. “I believed it was right.”

Fighting Mann: a “mere instrument” or a total tool?

Well, the trial of Simon Mann over his involvement in the planned coup in Equatorial Guinea is off the blocks at last…

The judge opened with the reading of a police report setting out the well-rehearsed allegations: Mann had conspired with the London-based Lebanese businessman Ely Calil and the exiled politician Severo Motto to mount an armed coup with South African mercenaries that would not have ruled out killing the president. In return, Mann would have received £15m. There was a contract in evidence.

Then it was the turn of the attorney general, Jose Olo Obono, who outlined the prosecution case and read out the charges: crimes against the head of state, against the form of government and against the peace and independence of the republic.

He said Mann’s first lawyer, who was suspended from the case last week, was to be prosecuted for insulting Obiang. This was a reference to the fact that he had wanted to argue that Mann’s extradition from Zimbabwe in February this year was illegal.

Obono compared Mann with the terrorists who attacked New York, Madrid and London. They were, he said, “a threat to humanity that must be wiped out”.

The attorney general also claimed the main conspirators included Calil, Mark Thatcher, the British businessmen Greg Wales and David Tremain and Nigel Morgan, a former intelligence officer with the Irish Guards now living in South Africa. Calil had put in $2m (£1m).

Obono told the court for the first time that the Lebanese defendant, a Malabo resident called Mohammed Salam, had known about the plot but failed to tell the authorities.

The court was told the six local men were opposition members of Motto’s party who had been in touch with Motto by email. Each of the 70 mercenaries would have received £3,000. For the first two charges against Mann he asked for 14 years and eight months and two years and four months on the third.

The defence lawyers were about to present their opening speeches when the judge dropped another bombshell. He ordered a smartly dressed man who had been sitting with the diplomats to join the defendants.

He is a serving minister. Although evidence has yet to be adduced it is understood he knew of Calil’s investment in Equatorial Guinea as a precursor to the coup and failed to raise the alarm.

And so to Mann’s new lawyer, Jose Pablo Nvo, who in a short speech said his client was a “mere instrument” working for Calil and the coup could have gone ahead without him. It was, in effect, a guilty plea.

The hearing continues.

(From The Guardian)

Fighting Mann’s lawyer cries Guinea foul over coup ‘extradition’…

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.

BBC News

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!

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