Exiled coup leader Moto 'living in fear in Croatia'

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The Independent Online

Equatorial Guinea's exiled opposition leader Severo Moto is alive and in hiding in Croatia, according to an interview with local media.

Equatorial Guinea's exiled opposition leader Severo Moto is alive and in hiding in Croatia, according to an interview with local media.

Globus magazine reported that Mr Moto was living secretly in Zagreb and quoted him saying he feared Spanish attempts to kill him. The Spanish press has reported that Mr Moto was believed to be dead. Mr Moto, who was accused of being behind a failed coup last year against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, charged Mr Obiang and elements within the Spanish establishment with attempting to "liquidate" him.

"Spanish secret services, its political and business circles want to have good relations with Equatorial Guinea so that Madrid gets the right to use oil sources in my country," Mr Moto alleged in the interview. "As an opposition leader and the most popular politician in my country, I became on obstacle to their (Spain's) deal with Obiang and so they want to remove me."

He said he fled Spain in March after being warned of alleged assassination attempts. Mr Moto said he would to return to Spain, where he has lived in exile since the mid-1980s, in a few days. "The worst is over," he said. "If they kill me now, everybody would know who ordered my murder. The Spanish government cannot afford such a scandal." Mr Moto has been accused of offering $1.8m (£9m) and oil rights to a group of mercenaries if they toppled Mr Obiang.

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