Simon Mann loses Zimbabwe appeal against extradition to Guinea

Other News Materials 30 January 2008 23:11 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Former British SAS officer Simon Mann lost another attempt Wednesday in his court battle in Zimbabwe to prevent his extradition to Equatorial Guinea.

However, lawyers said incarceration in the notorious conditions in the tiny oil-rich West African country was still some way off, as Mann planned two more appeals to the Supreme Court in Zimbabwe.

Mann - a business associate of Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher - was arrested in Zimbabwe in 2004 as part of a contingent of about 60 ex-commandos on their way from South Africa allegedly to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and install an opposition figure in Equatorial Guinea.

He was sentenced to four years in jail, and just as he was about to be released, he faced an extradition hearing before a magistrate in Harare, who confirmed the extradition request so he could face trial for plotting a coup in the West African country.

Mann appealed to the High Court in October last year, but Wednesday judges Rita Makarau, and Bharat Patel dismissed his appeal in a hearing in chambers. Their reasons were not immediately stated.

Mann's lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said Mann would immediately appeal to the Supreme Court against Wednesday's decision as well as against the fitness of judge Patel, who drafted the charges against Mann while he was still attorney-general.