|Born||26 June 1952|
Aldershot, England, UK
|Service/|| Scots Guards |
22 Special Air Service
|Battles/wars|| 1991 Gulf War |
Working for private military companies:
Sierra Leone Civil War
2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt
|Relations|| George Mann (father) |
Frank Mann (grandfather)
|Other work||Has worked for a number of private military corporations including Sandline International|
Simon Francis Mann (born 26 June 1952) is a former British Army officer and mercenary. He served part of a 34-year prison sentence in Equatorial Guinea for his role in a failed coup d'état in 2004, before receiving a presidential pardon on humanitarian grounds on 2 November 2009.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
A mercenary is an individual who is hired to take part in a conflict but is not part of an army or other-governmental organisation. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms payment rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was often the case among Italian condottieri.
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, is a country located on the west coast of Central Africa, with an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name evokes its location near both the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign African state in which Spanish is an official language. As of 2015, the country had an estimated population of 1,222,245.
Mann was extradited from Zimbabwe to Equatorial Guinea on 1 February 2008,having been accused of planning a coup d'état to overthrow the government by leading a mercenary force into the capital Malabo in an effort to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Charges in South Africa of aiding a coup in a foreign country were dropped on 23 February 2007, but the charges remained in Equatorial Guinea, where he had been convicted in absentia in November 2004. He lost an extradition hearing to Equatorial Guinea after serving three years of a four-year prison sentence in Zimbabwe for the same crimes and being released early on good behaviour.
Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea and the province of Bioko Norte. It is located on the north coast of the island of Bioko, formerly known by the Bubis, its indigenous inhabitants, as Etulá, and as Fernando Pó by the Europeans. The city has a population of approximately 187,302 inhabitants.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean politician who has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup and has overseen Equatorial Guinea's emergence as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s. Obiang was Chairperson of the African Union from 31 January 2011 to 29 January 2012. He is the second longest-serving non-royal national leader in the world, after Paul Biya of Cameroon.
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.
Upon Mann's arrival in Equatorial Guinea for his trial in Malabo, public Prosecutor Jose Olo Obono said that Mann would face three charges – crimes against the head of state, crimes against the government, and crimes against the peace and independence of the state.On 7 July 2008, he was sentenced to 34 years and four months in prison by a Malabo court. He was released on 2 November 2009, on humanitarian grounds.
Compassionate release is a process by which inmates in criminal justice systems may be eligible for immediate early release on grounds of "particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing". Compassionate release procedures, which are also known as medical release, medical parole, medical furlough and humanitarian parole, can be mandated by the courts or by internal corrections authorities. Unlike parole, compassionate release is not based on a prisoner's behavior or sentencing, but on medical or humanitarian changes in the prisoner's situation.
Simon Mann's father, George, captained the England cricket team in the late 1940s and was an heir to a stake in the Watney Mann brewing empire that closed in 1979, having been acquired by Grand Metropolitan (which, in 1997, became Diageo plc on its merger with Guinness). His mother is South African. [ citation needed ]
Francis George Mann, was an English cricketer, who played for Cambridge University, Middlesex and England. He was born at Byfleet, Surrey and died at Stockcross, Berkshire.
The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end of 1996. Until 1992, Scotland was also included in the England team. England, as a founding nation, is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.
Grand Metropolitan plc was a leisure, manufacturing and property conglomerate headquartered in England. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it merged with Guinness plc to form Diageo in 1997.
After leaving Eton College, Mann trained to be an officer at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Scots Guards on 16 December 1972.By 1976 he held the rank of Lieutenant. He later became a member of the SAS and served in Cyprus, Germany, Norway and Northern Ireland before leaving the forces in 1985. He was re-called to action from the reserves for the Gulf War.
Eton College is a 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is one of several military academies of the United Kingdom and is the British Army's initial officer training centre. It is located in the town of Sandhurst, Berkshire, though its ceremonial entrance is in Camberley, southwest of London. The Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership". All British Army officers, including late-entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as other men and women from overseas, are trained at The Academy. Sandhurst is the British Army equivalent of the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.
The Scots Guards (SG), part of the Guards Division, is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. Their origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland. Its lineage can be traced back to 1642, although it was only placed on the English Establishment in 1686. The Regiment is the oldest formed Regiment in the Regular Army in service today.
Mann then entered the field of computer security; however, his interest in this industry lapsed when he returned from his service in the Gulf and he entered the oil industry to work with Tony Buckingham. Buckingham also had a military background and had been a diver in the North Sea oil industry before joining a Canadian oil firm. In 1993, UNITA rebels in Angola seized the port of Soyo, and closed its oil installations. The Angolan government under Jose Eduardo dos Santos sought mercenaries to seize back the port and asked for assistance from Buckingham who had by now formed his own company.
Computer security, cybersecurity or information technology security is the protection of computer systems from theft or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.
Anthony Leslie Rowland "Tony" Buckingham is a former North Sea oil-rig diver and is currently an oil industry executive with a significant share holding in Heritage Oil Corporation. Heritage is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange since 1999. In 2008, Heritage listed on the London Stock Exchange. Buckingham's direct and indirect share holding is estimated to represent 33% of Heritage. This share was reduced in November 2007 via a share placement made through JP Morgan and Canaccord.
Professional diving is diving where the divers are paid for their work. There are several branches of professional diving, the best known of which is probably commercial diving and its specialised applications, offshore diving, inshore civil engineering diving, marine salvage diving, HAZMAT diving, and ships husbandry diving. There are also applications in scientific research, Marine archaeology, fishing and aquaculture, public service and law enforcement and military service. Any person wishing to become a professional diver normally requires specific training that satisfies any regulatory agencies which have regional or national authority, such as US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive or South African Department of Labour. Due to the dangerous nature of some professional diving operations, specialized equipment such as an on-site hyperbaric chamber and diver-to-surface communication system is often required by law.
Mann went on to establish Sandline International with fellow ex-Scots Guards Colonel Tim Spicer in 1996. The company operated mostly in Angola and Sierra Leone, but in 1997 Sandline received a commission from the government of Papua New Guinea to suppress a rebellion on the island of Bougainville and the company came to international prominence, but received much negative publicity following the Sandline affair. Sandline International announced the closure of the company's operations on 16 April 2004. In an interview on the Today Programme , Mann indicated that the operations in Angola had netted more than £10,000,000.
On 7 March 2004, Mann and 69 others were arrested in Zimbabwe when their Boeing 727 was seized by security forces during a stop-off at Harare's airport to be loaded with £100,000 worth of weapons and equipment. The men were charged with violating the country's immigration, firearms and security laws and later accused of engaging in an attempt to stage a coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile, eight suspected mercenaries, one of whom later died in prison, were detained in Equatorial Guinea in connection with the alleged plot. Mann and the others claimed that they were not on their way to Equatorial Guinea but were in fact flying to the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security for diamond mines. Mann and his colleagues were put on trial in Zimbabwe, and, on 27 August, Mann was found guilty of attempting to buy arms for an alleged coup plot and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.66 of the others were acquitted.
On 25 August 2004, Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was arrested at his home in Cape Town, South Africa. He eventually pleaded guilty (under a plea bargain) to negligently supplying financial assistance for the plot.The 14 men in the mercenary advance guard that were caught in Equatorial Guinea were sentenced to jail for 34 years.
Among the advance guard was Nick du Toit who claimed that he had been introduced to Thatcher by Mann. Investigations later revealed in Mann's holdings' financial records that large transfers of money were made to du Toit, as well as approximately US$2 million coming in from an unknown and untraceable source. On 10 September Mann was sentenced to seven years in jail. His compatriots received one-year sentences for violating immigration laws and their two pilots got 16 months. The group's Boeing 727 was seized, as well as the US$180,000 that was found on board the plane. [ citation needed ]
On 23 February 2007, charges were dropped against Mann and the other alleged conspirators in South Africa. Mann remained in Zimbabwe, where he was convicted of charges from the same incident.On 2 May 2007 a Zimbabwe court ruled that Mann should be extradited to Equatorial Guinea to face charges, although the Zimbabweans promised that he would not face the death penalty. His extradition was described as the "oil for Mann" deal, in reference to the large amounts of oil that Mugabe has managed to secure from Equatorial Guinea. The Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea, where Mann was sent, is notorious for its bad conditions. Mann lost his last appeal against the decision to extradite him. In a last-ditch effort on 30 January 2008, Mann tried to appeal the judgment to the Zimbabwean Supreme Court. The following day, Mann was deported to Equatorial Guinea in secret, leading to claims by his lawyers that the extradition was hastened to defeat the possibility of appeal to the Supreme Court.
Concern for Mann's plight was raised in the UK Parliament in the year of his arrest in Zimbabwe by three Conservative Members of Parliament.During the two years after the government of Equatorial Guinea applied for his extradition, three further Conservative Party MPs submitted written questions.
The sudden extradition drew the greatest response. Julian Lewis said in Parliament:
|“||My constituent, Mr Simon Mann, has completed his jail sentence in Zimbabwe but has been transferred by the Mugabe regime to a potentially terrible fate in Equatorial Guinea, despite the fact that his appeals processes have not been completed and despite the assurances given to the British ambassador to Zimbabwe that would not happen. May we have a statement as soon as possible on the Floor of the House from the Foreign Secretary about what action is going to be taken? Quiet diplomacy has failed and we now have to save Mr Mann, whatever he has or has not done, from torture and a horrible death in a terrible situation.||”|
That position was supported by three other Conservative MPs during the debate.Written questions were submitted by a fourth.
There was a request that the United States administration, which had access to Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison on 6 February 2008, exert its influence "to secure [his] safe return".UK officials were granted access to him on 12 February 2008. Labour and other parties expressed little concern about Mann or the others. The only non-Conservative Party MP to submit a question in Parliament about him was Vince Cable, although an Early Day Motion about his treatment in prison received some cross-party support.
On 8 March 2008, Channel 4 in the UK won a legal battle to broadcast an interview with Mann in which he named British political figures, including Ministers, alleged to have given tacit approval to the coup plot.In testimony he spoke frankly about the events leading to the botched attempt to topple Equatorial Guinea's president.
Despite their charges being unrelated, Mann was tried alongside six Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea activists being held on weapons charges, including opposition leader Severo Moto's former secretary Gerardo Angüe Mangue.On 7 July 2008, Mann was sentenced by an Equatoguinean court to more than 34 years in jail.
On 2 November 2009 he was given "a complete pardon on humanitarian grounds" by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.He was back in England by 6 November. He lives in the New Forest.
Mann's memoir, Cry Havoc, was published in 2011, to mixed reviews.
The politics of Equatorial Guinea take place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President is both the head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Chamber of People's Representatives
Robert Denard was a French soldier and mercenary. Sometimes known under the aliases Gilbert Bourgeaud and Saïd Mustapha Mahdjoub, he was known for having performed various jobs in support of Françafrique—France's sphere of influence in its former colonies in Africa—for Jacques Foccart, co-ordinator of President Charles de Gaulle's African policy.
Sandline International was a private military company (PMC) based in London, established in the early 1990s. It was involved in conflicts in Papua New Guinea in 1997 and had a contract with the government under then-Prime Minister Julius Chan, causing the Sandline affair. In 1998 in Sierra Leone Sandline had a contract with ousted President Kabbah and in Liberia in 2003 was involved in a rebel attempt to evict the then-president Charles Taylor near the end of the civil war. Sandline ceased all operations on 16 April 2004. On the company's website, a reason for closure is given:
The Sandline affair was a political scandal that became one of the defining moments in the history of Papua New Guinea, and particularly the conflict in Bougainville. It brought down the government of Sir Julius Chan, and took Papua New Guinea to the verge of a military revolt. The event was named after Sandline International, a UK-based private military company force.
Sir Mark Thatcher, 2nd Baronet is a British businessman. He is the son of Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Baronet, and is the twin brother of Carol Thatcher. He has two children by his first wife, Diane Burgdorf. He married his second wife, Sarah Jane Russell, daughter of Terry Clemence, a wealthy property developer, and sister of Viscountess Rothermere, in 2008.
Timothy Simon "Tim" Spicer, is a former British Army officer, and former chief executive officer of the private security company Aegis Defence Services. He is a veteran of the Falklands War and also served with the British Army in Northern Ireland. He became well known as the founder of Sandline International, a private military company which closed in April 2004.
The following lists events that happened during 2004 in South Africa.
Servaas Nicolaas "Niek" du Toit is a former South African arms dealer, former mercenary and former colonel of 32 Battalion and the 5th Reconnaissance Commando. He was implicated in the plot to overthrow Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea.
The Dogs of War (1974) is a war novel by Frederick Forsyth featuring a small group of European mercenary soldiers hired by a British industrialist to depose the government of the fictional African country of Zangaro.
Ely Calil was a Lebanese businessman holding British citizenship. He was one of the richest men in Britain; The Sunday Times Magazine estimated his wealth in 2010 to be around £350 million.
The following lists events that happened during 2007 in South Africa.
Black Beach, located on the island of Bioko, in the capital city of Malabo in Equatorial Guinea, is one of Africa's most notorious prisons.
The 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt, also known as the Wonga coup, failed to replace President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with exiled opposition politician Severo Moto. Mercenaries organised by mainly British financiers were arrested in Zimbabwe on 7 March 2004 before they could carry out the plot. Prosecutors alleged that Moto was to be installed as the new president in return for preferential oil rights to corporations affiliated to those involved with the coup. The incident received international media attention after the reported involvement of Sir Mark Thatcher in funding the coup, for which he was convicted and fined in South Africa.
The following lists events that happened during 2008 in South Africa.
Gerardo Angüe Mangue is an Equatoguinean political activist currently imprisoned on weapons possession charges. His imprisonment has drawn protest from the US State Department and Amnesty International, the latter of which considers him to be a prisoner of conscience.
Fabián Nsue Nguema is the most prominent human-rights lawyer in Equatorial Guinea which, under Teodoro Obiang, has been referred to as one of the most repressive regimes in Africa. He is a member of Equatorial Guinea's only legal opposition party, Unión Popular (UP), which frequently denounces human rights violations, and of which he has served as secretary-general. He has defended a number of political prisoners in trials.
James Martin Brabazon, is a British documentary filmmaker, journalist, and author.
The 1979 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état happened on August 3, 1979, when President Francisco Macías Nguema's nephew, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, overthrew him in a bloody coup. Fighting between loyalists and rebels continued until Macías Nguema was captured fleeing for Cameroon on August 18. He sentenced his uncle to death for the crime of genocide against the Bubi people and other crimes committed. Macías Nguema was executed by firing squad on September 29, 1979. Teodoro has remained President since then.
in January 2005 Thatcher pled guilty in South Africa, after a plea bargain, to "unwittingly" abetting the coup. He was fined 3 million rand (£266,000), given a suspended four-year jail term, and obliged to leave South Africa, his home for a decade.