August 25, 2004

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Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was arrested at his Cape Town residence in connection with the funding of the alleged coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. A police spokesman, Makahosini Nkosi, said: "We are investigating charges of contravening the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act. This is in relation to the possible funding and logistical assistance in relation to the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea." Sipho Ngwema, spokesman for the FBI-like Scorpions anti-fraud unit which carried out the South African raid, said: "We have evidence that he financed the coup in Equatorial Guniea." He confirmed that Sir Mark has denied any involvement in the plot. The trial of 17 men, including seven South Africans, six Armenians and four Equatorial Guineans accused of plotting the coup in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea opened this week. The men were arrested early March for conspiring to topple longtime leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema. (News24, South Africa)

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