[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Sep 4 11:51:43 CDT 2004
Eq.Guinea will not seek death penalty for Thatcher
Equatorial Guinea will guarantee not to seek the death penalty if it
decides to request the extradition of Margaret Thatcher's son in
connection with a suspected coup plot, its state prosecutor said on
South Africa will not extradite to countries that could apply the death
penalty, but Jose Olo Obono told Reuters by telephone from the capital
Malabo that this would not be an obstacle.
Mark Thatcher, 51-year-old son of the former British prime minister, was
arrested in South Africa on Aug. 25 on suspicion of helping to finance an
alleged plot for which foreigners have been arrested in Equatorial Guinea
Officials in South Africa said a delegation from Equatorial Guinea,
including Obono, was due there on Sunday to make inquiries, including a
possible interview with Thatcher.
"If we have the evidence then we must go against him," Obono said. "I
think we can offer assurances that we won't use the death penalty. I'm
sure that if we offer assurances in writing, I believe we can ask for
extradition. I believe we can reach an agreement, there won't be a problem
The trial of 14 suspected foreign mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea accused
of plotting to oust its president was suspended this week to give
investigators time to visit South Africa.
South Africa has said lawyers representing Thatcher are also open to such
Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has spoken of a
conspiracy by foreign nations and firms. He says investigators have found
a web of payments to offshore accounts.
His country is also pursuing other suspects, including exiled opposition
leader Severo Moto, who lives in Spain, and London-based businessmen Eli
Calil and Greg Wales.
Last week a court in Zimbabwe convicted Simon Mann, a former British
special forces officer and friend of Thatcher's who has been accused of
leading the alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea, of weapons offences.
Of the 14 foreign suspects on trial in Malabo, only 1 has admitted taking
part in a plot: South African arms dealer Nick du Toit, for whom
prosecutors want the death penalty.
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