Thursday, June 19, 2008

Will Sir Mark Thatcher’s Plea Bargain in South Africa Stand?

It has been reported that a mercenary involved in the plot to overthrow the President of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea in 2004 has implicated Sir Mark Thatcher, son of the former British Prime Minister, as one of five individuals in charge of the operation. This testimony is in sharp contrast to the assertions of Sir Thatcher, who entered a plea agreement with South African prosecutors in 2005 after claiming his only involvement in the matter was providing funds to purchase what he believed to be an air ambulance. In return for his plea, Sir Thatcher received a heavy fine and a four-year suspended sentence. While I have not seen the agreement that was used in Sir Thatcher’s plea bargain, such agreements typically include a clause dissolving the bargain if it is later determined that the individual provided false information. As such, it is unclear whether this new information about Sir Thatcher’s role in the attempted coup will jeopardize the plea agreement and mean he will be required to enter a new, less generous plea agreement, or, perhaps, stand trial in South Africa.

See The Times (London) Article on the New Testimony Here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article4166091.ece

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