Skip to comments.Thatcher 'directly involved in coup'
Posted on 01/19/2005 9:01:50 PM PST by indcons
Troubles deepened for Lady Thatcher's disgraced son last night when a self-confessed coup plotter surfaced to accuse him of direct involvement in the attempt to overthrow the regime in Equatorial Guinea.
Crause Steyl, the mercenary pilot who was to have been the star witness against Mark Thatcher had his trial in South Africa gone ahead, told Channel 4 News that Sir Mark's role had been kept secret, because "his mother was the previous prime minister of England".
Mr Steyl described meeting Sir Mark to select a helicopter on which a gun could be mounted.
He also alleged that the Spanish government appeared to acquiesce in the plot.
When asked: "Does Mark Thatcher's story that he knew nothing about the chopper being used in the coup attempt stack up?" Mr Steyl replied: "No it doesn't ... as far as I'm concerned not."
Sir Mark was convicted in South Africa last week and fined £270,000 after a plea bargain in which he escaped trial and possible jail in return for admitting a limited role. He conceded that he had hired a helicopter, realising it "might" be used for mercenary activity.
But Mr Steyl alleged that Greg Wales, a business associate of the old Etonian, ex-SAS officer Simon Mann, helped to recruit mercenaries and people willing to finance the coup.
He said: "Simon told me that I had to meet one of the investors in his project ... and that Greg would introduce me ... I was introduced to someone [at Lanseria airport, near Johannesburg] who didn't give me his name. I gave him mine and then after a while it became apparent that the man was Mark. He came up from Cape Town."
Mr Steyl alleged that Sir Mark became directly involved in testing a military aircraft.
"The helicopter that Mark had in mind ... I sent someone down to test fly it ... Mark happened to go with this guy ... The guy reported back and said it won't be suitable for this purpose.
"I advised Simon who advised Mark that this helicopter won't suit our needs. Mark said we must decide what we must do and I said we can hire a lighter model."
Mr Steyl says he believes the then Spanish government acquiesced in the coup attempt, because he and the exiled would-be president, Severo Moto, were allowed to return to Spanish territory after the coup attempt failed, without proper papers.
The office of the former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar denied the allegation, saying: "We have never been involved, either directly or indirectly in this matter."
A spokesman for Sir Mark, believed to be in staying in London with his mother and so far unable to obtain a visa to join his wife in the US, said last night that the accusations were "claptrap".
Greg Wales's lawyer said: "Our client was not aware of the helicopter contract."
Sow the seeds of chaos, reap the whirlwinds of punishment.
'Coup plotters' face their alleged torturers as Thatcher family quits -
The Telegraph - UK ^ | Katherine Houreld - Christopher Munnion
Posted on 08/30/2004 7:42:03 PM PDT by UnklGene
'Coup plotters' face their alleged torturers as Thatcher family quits -
By Katharine Houreld in Malabo and Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg (Filed: 31/08/2004)
Eight men accused of plotting to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's government confronted their alleged torturers yesterday in a court in the capital, Malabo.
Angered by the judge's decision to read statements the men say were made under duress, one South African defendant, Sergio Cordoso, said: "This is the first time I have seen a person questioned and taken to the torture room at the same time."
Mark Thatcher: accused He added: "I want to emphasise the person who tortured me is here in court. He was there when I was being questioned. If I am lying let me show the court who it was. I have the scars and I can show them."
No further questions were asked. Nineteen men are on trial accused of mercenary activities and a coup plot.
The eight who appeared in court yesterday included the alleged ringleader, the South African Nick du Toit. The trial began as the South African justice ministry said it was giving "urgent consideration" to a request from Equatorial Guinea to interview Sir Mark Thatcher about his alleged part in financing a coup plot - an offence under South African law. Sir Mark, 51, denies the accusation.
A ministry official said a decision on the request might be referred to the courts.
Sir Mark's wife, Diane, and their two children left their Cape Town house last night bound for the United States. The son of Lady Thatcher must remain in South Africa and is due to appear in court again in November on charges of funding part of a plot allegedly masterminded by Simon Mann, a former British SAS officer who was found guilty in Zimbabwe last week of taking part in mercenary activity.
In Pretoria, two of the alleged mercenaries arrested in Zimbabwe five months ago and freed there last week, were charged under anti-mercenary laws. Harry Carlse and Lourens Horn are due in court next month.
Both voluntarily reported to the police in what appeared to be a plea-bargain interview. Police want to turn the "small fry" in the alleged plot into state witnesses against the "big fish", said to include several well-known names in Britain.
Equitorial Guinea is ruled by a dictator who himslef came to power in coup 25 years ago. It is atiny country with a huge amount of oil. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the dictator keeps more each year in royalties than the rest of the 500,000 citizens make combined. He buys jets and palaces while most of his citizens have no running water or electrity. But since Thatcher is the son of an EVIL conservative hero we are supposed to pity Obiang.
President Obiang will doubtless try to use the failed coup to his advantage. His position has seemed to weaken in recent months, with the succession battle heating up and rifts developing within the country's tiny ruling clique. The latest blow to Obiang came late last month when he visited Washington D.C. in an attempt to resolve problems with his government's account at Riggs Bank. Obiang is the sole signatory on that account, which had a balance of more than US$600 million. The account has recently been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an official at Riggs Bank has been interrogated by US agents.
Looks like Sir Mark Thatcher is one of the "big fish."
I must note that this piece appeared in the leftist rag, The Guardian.
Equatorial Guinea: Stop the killings, the rapes and the arbitrary arrests
05 July 2004
The Government of Equatorial Guinea must immediately bring an end to extrajudicial executions, torture and rape by security personnel, Amnesty International called today.
Following an attack by some individuals on the military garrison on Corisco Island on 29 May 2004, the government unleashed a wave of arrests in Bata, the main city on the mainland. Relatives and associates of those who took part in the Corisco incursion were primarily targeted. People associated with the banned Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea (PPGE), their relatives and friends, were also targeted.
Reports suggest that, after being discovered by soldiers, the attackers dispersed and tried to escape. At least five reportedly succeeded in reaching a boat and fleeing to Libreville. The remainders were hunted down by the soldiers who are reported to have shot them on sight. Those who surrendered were also summarily executed. The executions are reported to have only stopped with the arrival of a high-ranking military officer on the island. Five survivors were arrested and are believed to have been subjected to torture and rape.
The number of people killed is estimated to be between 12 and 16.
After the attack on Corisco Island, the Gabonese security forces rounded up Equatorial Guineans in Libreville, and friends and relatives of those who took part in the attack. An undetermined number were arrested including the suspected leader of the incursion, Adolfo Obiang Bicó. Most detainees appear to have been released within days. However, five people who fled Corisco Island were arrested and "extradited" to Equatorial Guinea. They are believed to be currently held in Black Beach prison in Malabo. Neither the Gabonese nor the Equatorial Guinean authorities have released details about these detainees, their place of detention or the charges against them.
In the absence of an extradition treaty between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Amnesty International regards such extradition to be illegal and in violation of international human rights law.
Amnesty International further calls on the authorities of Equatorial Guinea to stop the unlawful arrest of relatives of those sought by the security forces who have not committed any criminal offence.
"They should investigate all reports of human rights abuses following the attack on Corisco Island," the organization said.
"Furthermore, they should immediately allow immediate access to all detainees by their lawyers, medical doctors and family. They should launch an urgent, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the killing of alleged attackers on Corisco Island and the deliberate shooting of Marcelino Nguema Esono, a former member of the PPGE, as well as into the numerous reports of torture and rape. The results of such inquiry should be made public." Amnesty International said.
On 30 May 2004, the Equatorial Guinean authorities announced that, the previous night, a group of Equatorial Guineans resident in Libreville had attacked Corisco Island and that the soldiers deployed there had killed five of the attackers and captured five others. Four men and one woman were paraded on national television where they reportedly "confessed" to using Corisco Island as the stepping stone from where to launch attacks on Malabo, the capital on Bioko Island, and Bata, the largest city on the mainland.
In March 2004, Equatorial Guinean authorities accused Severo Moto, the exiled former leader of the PPGE of plotting to overthrow the government with a group of alleged mercenaries who had been arrested in Malabo. Several PPGE members went into hiding to avoid arrest. Their close family members were arrested so as to force them to give themselves up.
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the health and safety of Marcelino Nguema Esono, a member of the PPGE. He was arrested for unknown reasons on the evening of 27 June in the house of his brother-in-law as they were watching football on television. He had been in hiding since March. Armed plainclothes security police burst into the house and deliberately shot at Marcelino Nguema, who was hit in the stomach. The police then took him, his brother-in-law and two others to the main police station in Bata. On 29 June, the four were transferred to Malabo prison where they have had no access to medical treatment or lawyers.
Oil firms' Africa dealings probed
UPI via The Washington Times ^ | May 23, 2K4 | UPI
Los Angeles, , May. 22 (UPI) -- A grand jury and congressional investigators are probing real estate purchases by U.S. oil companies that may have constituted bribes to an African dictator.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday the two separate investigations involve high-priced land purchases made by the oil companies through a holding company beleived controlled by the president of Equatorial Guinea.
Sources in Washington said the probe is aimed at determining if the purchase prices were inflated to the point they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Investigators noted that a Washington bank account that President Teodoro Obiang is believed to control holds millions of dollars deposited by U.S. companies.
Marathon Oil, ExxonMobil and Devon Energy confirmed to the Times that company officials had met with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and maintained that their dealings in Equatorial Guinea were lawful.
...The Bureau of Export Revolution (known also as Le Bureau arabe des liaisons) runs commando camps for foreigners in Libya; six near the Mediterranean coast, four on the border with Tunisia, and one in the heart of the country, at Sebha. Egyptians, Tunisians and other Arabs, sub-Saharan Africans, Pakistanis, Indians, Vietnamese, North Koreans, and West Europeans participate, but there are no Cubans or Soviets, and the organization is run by Palestinians. The troops, numbering about 7,000, are well paid, well trained, highly politicized, and strictly disciplined. Some soldiers sign up abroad, but most, threatened with expulsion for having entered Libya illegally in search of work, prefer military service for the Bureau instead.
Soldiers from the camps have often ventured outside Libya, assisting the Polisario (via a desert route dubbed the "Qadhdhafi trail"), occupying the Aozou strip in northern Chad, and fighting in Chad's civil war. Others staged a coup in the Sudan and aided three African tyrants: Amin, Bokassa, and Francisco Macias Nguemo of Equatorial Guinea.(/snip) ------- "No One Likes the Colonel," by Daniel Pipes, American Spectator, March 1981
Thanks. The article in Post #10 is especially intriguing.
Consider the source....
See posting #8