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Penningtons is advising the President of Equatorial Guinea on a civil action arising from an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government of the oil-rich African state.
Paris-based partner Henry Page is leading the firm’s team, which has lodged a statement of claim in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court against former SAS soldier and old Etonian Simon Mann, London-based oil trader Ely Calil and London businessman Greg Wales.
The civil action coincides with the conviction of Mann by a Zimbabwe court last month for attempting to illegally buy arms for the alleged coup. A further 18 people are being tried in the Equatorial Guinean capital Malabo.
In South Africa, Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, has also been charged with breaking the country’s anti-mercenary laws. He was arrested two weeks ago at his home in Cape Town and is accused of providing financing to Mann to fund the plot.
Thatcher is being represented by South African lawyer Alan Bruce-Brand from Webber Wentzel Bowens and Mann by South African lawyer Mariette Kruger.
London-based human rights lawyer Imran Kahn from Imran Khan & Partners is representing Calil, and Sarah Webb from Russell Jones & Walker is representing Wales.
A list of those alleged to have helped finance the plot is also understood to include a ‘JH Archer’, believed by prosecutors to refer to Lord Archer. Represented by Irwin Mitchell, Archer denies any knowledge of the plot.