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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 07:31 PM
Original message
Dictator sues British 'coup plotters'
By Miranda Mclachlan, Philip Sherwell and Jane Flanagan
(Filed: 18/07/2004)


A former SAS officer and three other men alleged to have been behind a plot by mercenaries to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea are being sued in the High Court in London by the government of the West African state.

British lawyers acting for Equatorial Guinea and its president, Teodoro Obiang, say that they are seeking millions of pounds in compensation on the rarely-cited legal grounds of civil conspiracy.


Court documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph name Simon Mann, an Old Etonian scion of the Watney brewing family and a former Scots Guards officer, who is being held in jail with 70 other alleged mercenaries in Zimbabwe.

They were allegedly en route to overthrow the regime in Equatorial Guinea, but they insist that they had been recruited as security officers at a Congo diamond mine.
more
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great Caesar's Ghost! Right out of the "Illuminatus!" trilogy
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. WaPo: Allbritton Loses Riggs Bank (front page, day 3)
Edited on Sat Jul-17-04 07:42 PM by seemslikeadream
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. from link
Mr Mann is a neighbour and friend of Mark Thatcher, son of Baroness Thatcher, in the exclusive Cape Town suburb of Constantia. He was involved with Executive Outcomes, the South African mercenary company, and Sandline International, the outfit at the centre of the arms-to-Africa scandal in Sierra Leone.

Mr Calil is also under investigation by a French judge over allegations of illegal payments involving the oil giant Elf-Aquitaine.

The documents claim that the alleged conspirators met in London, Madrid and South Africa to plot a coup with Mr Mann and Nick du Toit, a South African businessman now in jail in Equatorial Guinea.

Mr Wales, an old Africa hand whose business interests have ranged from a mine clearance operation in Somalia to consultancy work with Executive Outcomes, said that he had met Mr du Toit to discuss legitimate business deals in Equatorial Guinea.


The South African government has been determined to clamp down on mercenary operations being run from its soil. The Sunday Telegraph has been told that its intelligence services had been tapping Mr Mann's phone and monitoring his activities in the run-up to March's events
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Margaret Thatcher plus 'Smelly' and 'Scratcher'
Edited on Sat Jul-17-04 09:36 PM by Snazzy
Margaret turned out to support Pinochet ('99) in Blackpool, the town I think is related to his Riggs offshore company names.

They have a Sunday story too:

The tale of an ex-SAS hero and his chums Smelly and Scratcher

It sounds like an adventure story: a group with links to top Tories has been drawn into the fall-out from a plot to oust an African president. By Antony Barnett

Sunday July 18, 2004
The Observer

An old Etonian military hero gets a gang together to rid the world of a ruthless tyrant who is accused of having a penchant for eating human flesh. The plan is rumbled and the hero is thrown into a hellhole of a prison and faces the death penalty. But help may not be far away as he calls on his old chums 'Smelly' and 'Scratcher' to ride to the rescue.

It is the stuff of a Boys' Own story or a Frederick Forsyth thriller. But for ex-SAS officer Simon Mann, currently languishing in a high-security prison cell in Zimbabwe, it is a real-life drama with himself in the starring role. And unfortunately for Mann - scion of the Watneys brewing empire - Smelly and Scratcher have not yet turned up to spring his escape. He now faces execution if found guilty of plotting a coup to depose the President of the west African state of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang.

But documents seen by The Observer reveal that this extraordinary story is set to take another dramatic turn. The emergence of a list of names linking Mann to senior figures in the Conservative party has taken an international tale of intrigue and plotting from a forgotten corner of west Africa to the highest echelons of the British establishment.

A confidential letter smuggled out of Mann's tiny solitary confinement cell to his wife and legal team pleads for help from a host of friends including the two he calls 'Scratcher' and 'Smelly'.

....

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives/story/0,90...



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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. the highest echelons of the British establishment!

An old Etonian military hero?
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Mugabe's 'hired guns'
Mugabe's 'hired guns'
MUGABE: Fears palace coup

By Ziegfried Eckron and Nicolene Louw
Last updated: 07/17/2004 06:41:49

A GROUP of "security guards" from the Western Cape apparently was to be deployed in Zimbabwe to protect President Robert Mugabe against one of his own cabinet ministers, a South African newspaper reported.

This was the latest information to surface on Friday in the mercenary debacle that was uncovered this week.

After the expos was published, Die Burger was inundated with calls from "recruits" expressing their doubts about the "operation" in an undisclosed African country.

One man said the 500 "security guards" were to be deployed in Zimbabwe to protect Mugabe against his "second in command". He did not want to name the person to whom he was he referring.

"There are rumours doing the rounds that he plans to put Mugabe under house arrest and we have to go to protect him (Mugabe)," said the man.

....

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/coup.11303.html


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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Mugabe Said to Use Law as Political Tool

Dissidents Face Zimbabwe's Justice System
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page A18


BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe -- Remember Moyo, a burly man with sad, withdrawn eyes, was arrested on Nov. 11, 2001, and beaten repeatedly and savagely over the next several days. He was charged with murder.

The day after the arrest, Moyo said, police pummeled and stomped him by the side of a road. At a police station outside this southern city, he was stripped, his hands were tied behind his back and his feet were shackled to a metal ring hooked to a wet cell floor, he said. Several times, he said, thugs let themselves in at night and beat him bloody and mute.

"This thing, you cannot forget," said Moyo, who had been an intelligence official and bodyguard for Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change. "You can try, but it just sticks."

The beating Moyo suffered and the murder charges against him and several other men were part of an attempt to cover up two killings ordered by officials of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, according to human rights activists, opposition members and church leaders. The case, they contend, underscores how Mugabe has used the law as a weapon against his political opponents.

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58456-20...
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. The Fall of 'the Most Important Bank'
Edited on Sat Jul-17-04 11:24 PM by seemslikeadream
Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page F02
Bank regulators, meanwhile, continue to investigate senior officials at Riggs, including Allbritton, for their role in helping Augusto Pinochet, Chile's murderous former dictator, gain access to millions of dollars that were supposed to have been frozen by court orders. Regulators are also looking into payments made by several oil companies into Riggs accounts controlled by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the notoriously corrupt president of Equatorial Guinea. A federal grand jury is also said to have launched a criminal probe.

At a Senate hearing last week, officials from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency acknowledged they were too slow to uncover details of both relationships and take strong enforcement actions against Riggs. Particularly embarrassing was the fact that R. Ashley Lee, the bank examiner who was in charge of overseeing the Riggs reviews and who repeatedly urged forbearance for the bank's lax procedures, left the government to take a top spot at Riggs.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56855-20...

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/images/I14356-20...

Executive At Riggs Was Bank's Examiner
Vice President's Conduct As Regulator Under Examination
By Kathleen Day and Terence O'Hara
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 4, 2004; Page E01


The federal bank examiner responsible for overseeing Riggs Bank during the years it repeatedly violated anti-money-laundering rules joined Riggs as a vice president just weeks after he left the government in 2002, regulators acknowledged yesterday.

Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke Jr., whose agency is one of the two main regulators of U.S. banks, has known for at least several weeks that R. Ashley Lee, the "examiner in charge" of Riggs from 1998 to 2002, went to work for the bank after leaving the agency, said Robert M. Garsson Jr., a spokesman for Hawke.

In response to questions yesterday, Hawke's office said he is investigating Lee's conduct to determine whether "inappropriate influence" by the bank delayed regulatory action against Riggs while Lee worked for the government. Neither Hawke nor his aides mentioned Lee or the internal investigation during two congressional hearings this week into Riggs, which last month was fined a record $25 million for failing to report suspicious transactions -- particularly those connected to embassy accounts for Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea.

"We don't know whether Lee's employment at the bank had any bearing on the problems we've discovered," said Garsson. "In hindsight we believe that we should have brought this relationship to the attention to Congress, and we regret that we did not."

Lee could not be reached for comment yesterday. Riggs spokesman Mark N. Hendrix said, "We are not going to make him available."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14012-20...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I wonder if T.O.N. took money from oil companies but didn't give them...
...what they wanted, and if that's what motivated the coup.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I don't know AP
I just don't know


Present and former Riggs Bank officials are sworn in before the
Senate Governmental Affairs Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, which is studying money laundering and foreign corruption, on Capitol Hill Thursday, July 15, 2004. From left to right are: former Vice President Simon Kareri, who refused to testify; President and CEO Lawrence Hebert; former bank Vice President Raymond Lund; and bank Executive Vice President R. Ashley Lee. Managers at Riggs Bank deliberately helped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet conceal his wealth, move funds and evade efforts under court order to seize his assets, Senate investigators say. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

Riggs Bank President and CEO Lawrence Hebert, left, former bank Vice President Raymond Lund, center, and bank Executive Vice President R. Ashley Lee appear before the Senate Governmental Affairs Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, which is studying money laundering and foreign corruption, on Capitol Hill Thursday, July 15, 2004. Managers at Riggs Bank deliberately helped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet conceal his wealth, move funds and evade efforts under court order to seize his assets, Senate investigators say. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Obiang gave them everything they wanted
BUT
the Riggs bank screwed up.

The Oil Companies (including Amerada Hess, Incat, ExxonMobil, Shell) told Obiang that they they would put huge amounts of money in special account just for him, if they let him just take the oil out of EQ.
Obiang thought this sounded just fine.
Somehow though, when he decided to buy a house in Maryland, he needed a LOAN from Riggs to finance the purchase.
Then one of his cousins said something during a meeting with the press and the LA Times jumped on it.
Riggs (acting in concert with the oil companies) had pretty much stolen ALL the revenue that had been generated by the removal of crude oil from EQ.
Well, the FBI went through Riggs
(the part that does not answer to Mueller or Ashcroft)
and found a lot of other scams going. Personal bank accounts were being looted and the cash was being sent all over the place
(Princess Haifa of Saudi Arabia can testify to that.)

Riggs was ordered to put the money back into people's accounts
and in the case of Obiang,
it was ordered to surrender that cash to the Treasury Department of Equatorial Guinea
since that oil revenue is NOT Obiang's personal property but rather
belongs to the people of that country.
This is in accordance with US and international law.

Well, Unka Jonathan Bush of Riggs Bank just about had a fit.
He saw this as a direct violation of
the first principle of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition,
-- Once you have their money, you never give it back.

Jonathan Bush appealed to his fellow Ferengi
and the next thing you know,
the mercenaries in Iraq
fly off at Pope AFB in North Carolina,
to board a former Air National Guard plane now registered as N4610,
and then hop over to the Bahamas which is Spy Central HQ,
before landing in South Africa to pick up extra muscle-men
and then being busted in Zimbabwe trying to purchase arms
for the coup in they are going to perform in Equatorial Guinea.

Mercenaries accused of planning a coup in an oil-rich African state also worked under contract for the British government providing security in Iraq, raising fears about the way highly sensitive security work is awarded, The Observer has learnt.
The Department for International Development (DfID) signed a 250,000 deal last summer with the South-African based Meteoric Tactical Solutions (MTS) to provide 'close protection' for department staff, including bodyguards and drivers for its senior official in Iraq.
Two of the firm's owners were arrested in Zimbabwe last March with infamous British mercenary and former SAS officer Simon Mann. The men are accused of plotting an armed coup in Equatorial Guinea.
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,12326...

Severo Moto was supposed to replace Obiang
and had he signed off on the Riggs account
or "accepted" the returned" funds,
then the problem Unka Jonathan was facing would have vanished.
Riggs has already invested the money in the worship of Ialdabaoth.
It shall never be returned.
Blood will be spilled instead.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters: "We have no indication this aircraft is connected to the U.S. government."
The Pentagon also denied a connection with the aircraft. "It isn't one of our planes and not any of our people," said Pentagon spokesman Army Major Paul Swiergosz.
<snip>
The State Department disingenuous claim -- endlessly repeated in news stories around the globe -- is that they have " no indication this aircraft is connected to the U.S. government." After a nearly forty-year relationship with the US government, you would think the poor old plane would deserve better! Peculiarly, of the eight planes of its type, it is the only one not currently in use by the Air National Guard, listed with the site I consulted as operated by the U. S. Air Force.
http://www.kathryncramer.com/wblog/archives/000457.html
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Now where have you been?
Edited on Tue Jul-20-04 10:52 AM by seemslikeadream
Thanks Dulcey, I've wondered when you'd let us know what was going on!
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: US Senate probe reveals massive theft of oil revenue
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Equatorial Guinea readies for Zim 69 extradition
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

WHY IS PNC BUYING RIGGS?
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Riggs sale: What % shares does Farish and/or Jonathan Bush hold?
Edited on Tue Jul-20-04 11:25 AM by emad aisat sana
Dumped from top London Shrubpost and left with tail between his legs. Maybe in need of selling off the family silver to pay some legal bills?????

NB: Poppy hastily exited Carlyle at the begining of the year, no explanation like "ill health" - viz 80th B'Day parachute jump.....

Carlyle chum ex-UK premier John Major lost 10% deposit after mysteriously backing off from buying new 3 million London condo - no explanation - also early this year........

The toppling of Poppy's and Junior's bagman v. serious biz.

The shaming of Riggs' Jonathan Bush through the Pinochet scam is merely the chain that flushes the lavatory.

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Chain that flushes the lavatory, the rimmington repeater!
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-04 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. As in Stella Rimmington, ex-MI5 head and former non-exec director
of beleagured UK rag trade chain Marks & Spencer???

Best tin foil fedora going round London is that she and John Major are the parents of the Princess Di lookalike that copped the Pont d'Alma death with Dodi Fayed in August '97, the two previous versions having been despatched in earlier incidents now carefully whitewashed over in UK Spooks HQ.....

...and that current Marks & Sparks c.e.o. Stuart Rose is Major's natural son by UK property fraudster Paula Knight, sister of London gangland boss Ronnie.....

And...and...and...."Charles" is Pinochet's son anyway and responsible for laundering Pa's funds that Riggs whitewashed from the UK Ashburton/Althorp accounts into the US while the General was enjoying the benefits of UK house arrest in 1998/99......

Lovely Steve Bell cartoon!



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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Trust business is hidden gem in PNC's Riggs deal
Trust business is hidden gem in PNC's Riggs deal
Thursday, July 22, 2004

By Patricia Sabatini, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Although some analysts have been critical of PNC Financial Services Group's decision to buy besieged Riggs Bank in Washington D.C., they generally agree on at least one major bright spot to the deal -- the acquisition of Riggs' substantial trust business.

Long the bank of local blue bloods, Riggs is thought to have the largest trust unit in the Washington region, while PNC, which bolstered its formidable trust ranking with the purchase of Philadelphia's Provident National Bank back in 1982, likely has the biggest trust operation in the mid-Atlantic states. Both also have good reputations in the business.

"On that combination alone, the deal has to be attractive," said Arnie Danielson, a veteran banking consultant in Rockville, Md., who has been a leading critic of other aspects of the acquisition, such as Riggs' relatively weak position in the consumer banking arena and the fact that PNC is taking on a company embroiled in a money-laundering scandal.

....

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04204/349817.stm

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
11. Adnan Khashoggi went to the Eton of the Middle East?
But for all Palestinians, no matter what their class, says Said, the loss of Palestine has been known forever after as the nakbah, the disaster. "Since ancient times," he says, "the worst punishment given a man was exile and separation from his natal place. It is the most horrible fate, a permanent fall from paradise."

In Cairo, Said attended the American School along with the children of U.S. diplomats. Later, he entered Victoria College in Cairo, known as the Eton of the Middle East. Among the students at the school (which had a branch in Alexandria) were the future King Hussein of Jordan and Adnan Khashoggi. The head boy in Said's house at the school was the future actor Omar Sharif, then known as Michel Chalhoub. Said says Sharif-who was four years older-was a bully and Said "hated" him. Said felt like a stranger. "Most of the people at the school had been there all their lives," he says.
more
http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:0GpOdn7nIGAJ:www.w...
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banana republican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. kick
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