[Marxism] Rat Trap

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 25 05:00:47 MDT 2004


>From  MSN News


Mark Thatcher arrested in coup probe

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African police have arrested the son of former 
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on suspicion of involvement in a coup plot 
in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, police sources say.

A spokesman for the FBI-style Scorpions unit said on Wednesday that "the son 
of a prominent former British politician" had been arrested after a search 
and seizure operation at a Cape Town residence.

Police sources said the suspect was Mark Thatcher, now a businessman who 
maintains a home in Cape Town. He was expected to appear in court later on 
Wednesday.

Scorpions spokesman Makhonsini Nkosi said the arrest was part of a probe 
into what officials say was a plot to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema 
Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil 
producer.

"We are investigating him on charges of contravening the Regulation of 
Foreign Military Assistance Act. This is in relation to the possible funding 
and logistical assistance in relation to the attempted coup in Equatorial 
Guinea," Nkosi said.

British High Commission spokesman Nick Sheppard said the embassy was 
checking reports of Thatcher's arrest. "If Mr. Thatcher has been arrested we 
will offer him the normal consular assistance we offer to any British 
national who is arrested in SA," he said.

Two groups of men, including a number of South Africans, are being tried in 
courts in Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe on charges of acting as mercenaries 
in connection with the plot.

Thatcher moved to Cape Town in 1996 from the United States, where he was 
involved in several security-related businesses.

Local media have said that he is close to Simon Mann, the former British 
special forces member regarded as the leader of the Zimbabwe group of 
suspected mercenaries, who were arrested in March when their plane landed in 
Harare on what officials said was a trip to join co-conspirators in 
Equatorial Guinea.

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