Mark Thatcher starts court fight

Sir Mark Thatcher arrived at magistrates' court in Cape Town today for a hearing on charges that he helped bankroll a coup attempt that failed in Equatorial Guinea.

The hearings today and tomorrow centre on the legality of the government subpoena of Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a 51-year-old businessman who has lived in South African since 1995. He was arrested in Cape Town on 25 August.

Thatcher was subpoenaed in September to appear in Wynberg Magistrates' Court after the South African government granted an Equatorial Guinea request to question him about the allegations. Thatcher's lawyers argued, however, that it was unconstitutional to subpoena him to respond to those questions while he has related South African charges pending.

Equatorial Guinea wants to question a number of prominent Britons about allegations they financed a plot to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled Africa's third-largest oil producer for the past 25 years.

Thatcher's lawyers have maintained his innocence, saying he will cooperate with authorities.

Last month Simon Mann, a former British special forces commander and noted soldier of fortune accused of masterminding the failed coup plot, was sentenced to seven years in prison for trying to buy weapons from Zimbabwe's state arms manufacturer.

Mann's 67 accused co-conspirators, arrested when their aging Boeing 727 landed at the Harare International Airport on March 7, received sentences of 12-16 months for minor immigration and aviation violations.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people
Sport
Diego Costa, Ross Barkley, Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers, Alan Pardew and Christian Eriksen
footballRodgers is right to be looking over his shoulder, while something must be done about diving
Life and Style
gaming
Arts and Entertainment
Carl Barat and Pete Dohrety in an image from the forthcoming Libertines short film
filmsPete Doherty and Carl Barat are busy working on songs for a third album
Arts and Entertainment
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst (Windows, Active Directory) - London £26k

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Support Analyst / IT Support Analys...

Ashdown Group: PR, Marketing & Events Executive - Southwark, London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: PR Marketing & Events Exe...

Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - Nottingham

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - A rare high quality opportunity ...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible