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23 April 2017 12:07 (South Africa)

Freed mercenary says thanks, leaves on private jet

In a show of relieved remorse, freed British mercenary Simon Mann told his captors just before he left Equatorial Guinea that it was good his attempted 2004 coup had failed, and thanked them for treating him so nicely. Mann left the country on a private jet shortly after his pardon by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Mann also blamed London-based Lebanese millionaire Ely Calil and the son of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher for the coup, saying they should face justice. A South African court fined Mark Thatcher and gave him a suspended sentence in 2005 for unwittingly helping to finance the plot, while Mann received 34 years in jail, having already spent three years in a Zimbabwean prison. He was released along with four South African mercenaries just as Jacob Zuma paid a visit. We reckon there's more to it than his supposed release on "humanitarian grounds", and wonder who paid for the private jet. Read more: Reuters, BBC

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