Author Topic: "Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot  (Read 2164 times)

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« on: August 25, 2004, 01:28:46 PM »
How odd.

Sir Mark Thatcher (he inherited the Baronetcy from his father) has been held by South African police for involvement in the plot to overthrow the government on Equatorial Guinea. The trial of the mercenary Nick Du Toit has just begun in EG, along with thirteen other defendants accused of conspiring to start the coup. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, between 65 and 70 men have been held since March when their plane was seized during a stopover. The head of this group, Simon Mann, a former SAS captain and boss of the original mercenary plc Exective Outcomes, has now plead guilty to trying to procure dangerous weapons in a Zimbabwean court. The theory seems to be that these 70 odd men under Mann were to carry through the coup that Du Toit's men were to start. Mann is a friend of Mark Thatcher who was apparently threatened with blackmail over this fact. The article there theorises that the blackmail attempt was undertaken by coup-plotters who wanted to put pressure on high profile friends of Mann's to get them to help them out of a sticky spot. The fact that Mann has now plead guilty to a charge that could get him ten years in a Zimbabwean prison suggests that any high profile friends he might have have not been able to come through for him...

So why a coup in EG? Well it's the oil, clearly. The place floats on it, and many non-Africans make a lot of money out of it. The current president is getting on a bit, and the feeling seems to be that he will die soon and precipitate a nasty succession struggle. Better for all concerned to engineer a coup and keep everything running smoothly, if undemocratically. This Guardian article even suggests a possible money-man for the operation. So - why is Mark Thatcher (or Thickie Mork as his Harrovian school chums dubbed him) being picked up? Well, the idea is that he funded the thing, perhaps arranging it on behalf of powerful friends for a fee... Of course this may just be the inevitable outcome of standing up to blackmailers. Only time will tell. He'll be the death of his mum, that boy.

Vermschneid Mehearties

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2004, 01:32:37 PM »

Johnny Yesno

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2004, 01:58:08 PM »
On Newsnight they were saying Jeffrey Archer is involved somehow too.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2004, 02:00:02 PM »
Quote from: "Johnny Yesno"
On Newsnight they were saying Jeffrey Archer is involved somehow too.


Yup -

Quote from: "The Guardian, in that article,"

In a remarkable tale of bizarre twists, millionaire Ely Calil, who once advised Lord Archer, has been accused of financing an operation to hire foreign mercenaries to overthrow the government of the oil-rich West African country.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2004, 02:05:28 PM »
Quote from: "jutl"
He'll be the death of his mum, that boy.

I just went trawling for what Carol's doing nowadays. Not a lot it seems, but I found this fun little article on how the Germans want a Thatcher now, and have got a Mandelson in their face instead.

Quote from: "In that Grauniad article jutl linked was"
millionaire Ely Calil, who once advised Lord Archer

Not trying in any way to bias our opinion of the man are they?


Edit: ah.

Johnny Yesno

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2004, 02:15:48 PM »
Quote from: "Almost Yearly"
Quote from: "In that Grauniad article jutl linked was"
millionaire Ely Calil, who once advised Lord Archer

Not trying in any way to bias our opinion of the man are they?


Oops! I didn't spot that. That was probably what they were on about on Newsnight.

Vermschneid Mehearties

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2004, 03:02:32 PM »
How can our opinion of Jeffrey Archer be biased in an any more negative direction. Everybody already thinks (or even knows) he's a shit. Even his former supporters, who I suppose are hurt by the way he betrayed them.

Santa's Boyfriend

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2004, 03:11:46 PM »
Quote from: "Johnny Yesno"
On Newsnight they were saying Jeffrey Archer is involved somehow too.


Yeah, but that's probably just an excuse.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2004, 03:25:47 PM »
Quote from: "Vermschneid Mehearties"
How can our opinion of Jeffrey Archer be biased in an any more negative direction. Everybody already thinks (or even knows) he's a shit. Even his former supporters, who I suppose are hurt by the way he betrayed them.


<??????>

This would be just superb if it turned out to be true though wouldn't it?  Thatchers son masterminding a military coup in a minor African country.  I presume Tebbit is his Himmler, ready to take over the new countries ruling police force.

No one does a scandal like a Tory do they?

Unfortunately I think its doubtful that Mork could mastermind his way out of a paperbag.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2004, 03:30:07 PM »
Arf! News just in:


Thatcher's Son Charged Over Coup Plot
Margaret Thatcher's son Mark will appear in court in South Africa this afternoon after being arrested and charged over his alleged involvement in a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.The country's elite investigating unit, the Scorpions, arrested him at his home in Cape Town, South Africa.

His lawyer Peter Hodes told Sky News: "He has been charged with an offence relating to our Foreign Military Assistance Act, apparently to do with the purchase of helicopters and some connection with Equatorial Guinea coup attempt."

Mr Hodes said that today's court appearance would be a bail hearing and would be unlikely to be an extradition hearing.

A police spokesman added: "We have evidence, credible evidence, and information that he was involved in the attempted coup. We believe he assisted in finance and logistics."

The spokesman said Sir Mark had been "relatively cooperative" and police were planning to search his records and computer files.

The court appearance was delayed when Sir Mark was robbed of his shoes, jacket and mobile phone while in a crowded holding cell, a court official said.


Ha Ha, he got robbed.

Also:

Mr Nguema last month accused Sir Mark - and another former Thatcher Cabinet minister - of organising a coup."Certain elements also indicate that Mark Thatcher and a former Thatcher Cabinet minister who I cannot name, handled the financial planning of the coup," he said in an interview with the French magazine Jeunne Afrique Intelligent.

Naughty boy! He probably had an absent and uncaring mother.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2004, 03:30:13 PM »
Quote from: "Mediocre Rich"
Quote from: "Vermschneid Mehearties"
How can our opinion of Jeffrey Archer be biased in an any more negative direction. Everybody already thinks (or even knows) he's a shit. Even his former supporters, who I suppose are hurt by the way he betrayed them.


<??????>

This would be just superb if it turned out to be true though wouldn't it?  Thatchers son masterminding a military coup in a minor African country.  I presume Tebbit is his Himmler, ready to take over the new countries ruling police force.

No one does a scandal like a Tory do they?

Unfortunately I think its doubtful that Mork could mastermind his way out of a paperbag.


He's the very picture of a slightly dim fall-guy-come-bag-man though. He could very well have directed the $2 million into Mann's company's account  in exchange for a fee or a percentage of the 1% oil revenue skim that this Moto dude was offering for anyone who could give him the Presidency. His whole career has been a sequence of ill-timed pouncings on receding cash-cows.

Re: "Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2004, 04:12:20 PM »
Quote from: "jutl"
He'll be the death of his mum, that boy.


I'll bet Elvis Costello is tying his shoelaces as we speak.

This is a peculiar story and no mistake.  I can only presume that Mark offered to drive the tanks in.  The idea of a war being started in an oil-rich country, purely for mercenary ends seem ridiculously far fetched to me.  Oh, hang on a minute...

Quote from: "jutl"
Sir Mark Thatcher (he inherited the Baronetcy from his father)


Wish his mother had been Baron [sic.].

Quote from: "jutl"
mercenary plc


My lawyers will be in touch.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2004, 04:37:34 PM »
The lad's got bail.

Quote from: "[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3596948.stm
BBCi[/url]"]Mark Thatcher has been released on bail by a South African court following his arrest in connection with an alleged coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.

The son of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was ordered to pay a bail bond of two million Rand (£165,000) and hand over his passport.

He was charged with contravening two sections of South Africa's Foreign Military Assistance Act.

[...]

He has been bailed to return to the court on 25 November and has been ordered not to leave the district and to hand over his passport and travel documents to the South African authorities.

[...]

A spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said he had been arrested on suspicion of providing funding and logistical assistance.

Speaking outside the court, Sir Mark's lawyer, Peter Hodes, said he had been held on suspicion of providing financing for a helicopter linked to the coup plot and intended to plead not guilty.


When they say he was providing finance for a helicopter, they don't actually say he paid for all of it.  He might just have lent his mate a fiver, and got a receipt for it as a tax fiddle.  That'd teach you a lesson and then some.

Quote
A 15th defendant died in prison. Both Amnesty International and Mr du Toit's wife allege the accused were tortured.


Those public school whippings might have stood him in good stead.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2004, 04:56:12 PM »
Perhaps it's all a misunderstanding. Perhaps he was still trying to find Dakar.

Johnny Yesno

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2004, 05:51:27 PM »
Quote from: "Almost Yearly"
Perhaps it's all a misunderstanding. Perhaps he was still trying to find Dakar.


Nope, it were definitely da helicopter.

Ambient Sheep

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2004, 11:40:07 PM »
Quote from: "Vermschneid Mehearties"
How can our opinion of Jeffrey Archer be biased in an any more negative direction.

Um, surely it was meant that our opinion of Ely Calil would be biased because of his association with Archer, not the other way round?

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2004, 09:02:10 AM »
Ely Calil being the one we've never heard of before, yes.


:rolleyes:

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2004, 09:25:33 AM »
Quote from: "Almost Yearly"
I just went trawling for what Carol's doing nowadays.


Did you see her on the news last night?  She looked like pork dressed as mutton dressed as lamb dressed by Ray Charles.  Her face also seemed to be melting.  Perhaps she'd been scratching at her skin trying to see if there was any money underneath it.

Quote from: "Vermschneid Mehearties"
Even his former supporters, who I suppose are hurt by the way he betrayed them.


Are you referring to former cabinet collegues, or the voting proles?  If they didn't realise he was a shady type before he was finally found guilty of something then they've only got themselves to blame.  It takes very little digging to discover his blags and lies of yesteryear, even before he became a prison number.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2004, 09:44:28 AM »
He's due back in court in November, and can't leave SA until then. This must be a nuisance, as it's widely reported that he was preparing to up sticks and leave when arrested. South Africa's Mail & Guardian has some interesting bits and pieces:

Quote
The Guardian has seen a copy of a letter written by Mann from his Zimbabwe prison cell to his wife, demanding that his financial backers use their influence to get him released. In the letter, he appears to suggest that he was expecting $200 000 from Thatcher -- using his nickname Scratcher -- for an unspecified "project".

...

Thatcher's lawyer, Peter Hodes, said the businessman was arrested on suspicion of providing financing for a helicopter linked to the coup plot. "He will plead not guilty," Hodes said.

...

Nick du Toit, a South African arms dealer who was leader of the Malabo contingent, testified in court on Wednesday that Thatcher met Mann in July 2003. He said Thatcher had showed interest in buying military helicopters for a mining enterprise in Sudan, but the meeting was a "normal business deal" unrelated to any coup plot.


(my italics)
http://mg.co.za/Content/l3.asp?ao=121107&t=1

So is this just 'a helicopter' in the friendly Noel Edmonds sense, or multiple military helicopters?

Carol's reaction, according to the BBC:

Quote
"My real concern is for my mother because she's in America and I haven't spoken to her and I don't know her reaction and I care about her."


Sweet, although the fact that she needed to spell out the fact that she cares about her mum speaks a volume or two.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2004, 09:56:37 AM »
You can't help but feel that providing just one helicopter would be a naive misunderstanding of quite what was required.  I'm reminded of the scene in Spaced where Daisy tries to hand over a fiver for a dog for some reason.

Why exactly would you need military helicopters for purposes of mining?  As far as I'm aware helicopters aren't at their best underground.  I know Airwolf was kept in a cave, but I don't remember Stringfellow Hawk donning a head lamp and tapping at the rock face with a pick.  The more I read about this I can't help but feel that there's something in it.  I'm rather looking forward to November now, and not just because it's my birthday that month.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2004, 09:59:21 AM »
Bad luck Marky Mark...
Quote from: "the sun"
ACCUSED Sir Mark Thatcher could face 20 years’ jail — but may be handed over to a cannibal dictator said to eat his opponents’ TESTICLES.

If tried and convicted in South Africa, businessman Thatcher would be liable to a lengthy jail term.

But last night it was believed Equatorial Guinea may seek to extradite him — and his fate there could be far worse.

The tiny West African state has an appalling human rights record.

Prisoners are said to be routinely tortured.

And opponents of despotic President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, claim he eats the testicles of executed prisoners in the belief that it boosts his sex life.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2004, 10:02:07 AM »
Ooh, I do hope not :-)


PLC, what were you saying about Weston Super Mud the other day? You do know that's where Jeffrey's Lord of don't you. Or Baron, or Emperor or whatever he claims to be.

John Cleese and Jill Dando also come from Weston. Goes to show.

Tangents'R'Us.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2004, 10:02:52 AM »
Nah.  It's just politicians talking bollocks.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2004, 10:56:44 AM »
Quote from: "The Mercury (SA)"

Tales of his arrogance are legion. He once told an air stewardess who asked his name: "If you don't know by now you never will."

from http://www.themercury.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=336&fArticleId=2200675

That sounds to me less like arrogance and more like a recognition that his life has been a failure.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2004, 11:03:24 AM »
Quote from: "the sun"
But last night it was believed Equatorial Guinea may seek to extradite him — and his fate there could be far worse.


No it wasn't - Nguema said back on the 8th that he wasn't going to seek extradition of the Zimbabwean group headed by Mann. This makes it gigantically unlikely that he'd try to extradite Thatcher from South Africa. They just wanted a hook to hand their severed bollocks on.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2004, 01:09:38 PM »
It seems Thatcher was arrested after Mann's letter to his wife (mentioned above) was intercepted by South African Intelligence.

Quote from: "The Independent (SA)"

It said: "Our situation is not good and very URGENT. They (the lawyers) get no reply from Smelly and Scratcher (who) asked them to ring back after the Grand Prix race was over! This is not going well. I must say once again: what will get us out is MAJOR CLOUT. Once we get into a real trial scenario we are f****d."

Sources close to Mann say "Scratcher" is Mark Thatcher and "Smelly" is Ely Calil, a multimillionaire Lebanese oil trader who has been accused by the government of Equatorial Guinea of being at the centre of the alleged plot - a claim he denies, saying his name was provided under torture.

Mann's letter, which was written on two plain sheets of paper and a scrap of a magazine page, also said: "We need heavy influence of the sort that... Smelly, Scratcher... David Hart, and it needs to be used heavily and now."

Hart is a wealthy businessman who advised Thatcher's mother, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, during the 1984 miners' strike.

The letter went on: "It may be that getting us out comes down to a large splodge of wonga! Of course, investors did not think this would happen. Did I? Do they think they can be part of something like this with only upside potential - no hardship or risk of this going wrong.

"Anyone and everyone in this is in it - good times or bad. Now it's bad times and everyone has to f**king well pull their full weight."

The letter added: "Anyway (another contact) was expecting project funds inwards to Logo (Mann's firm) from Scratcher (200) ... If there is not enough, then present investors must come up with more."

The letter makes it clear that Mann was expecting Thatcher to make an investment of $200 000 (about R1,4-million), although it does not say what the money was for.


from http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=vn20040826102752277C604253

So it seems the 'Tory Cabinet Minister' being whispered about yesterday was Hart. He was an adviser to Mrs Thatcher during the miner's strike, and at the time I remember Private Eye regularly implying he was a little on the dodgy side. He has recently written a play about how Moses wasn't a Jew:


Quote from: "Spy in the Daily Telegraph"

David Hart, the squillionaire property magnate who advised Thatcher during the 1984 miners' strike and was a major backer of Portillo, has written - and is this week staging - a new play. The Ark and the Covenant stars Laurence Olivier's daughter Julie-Kate. It makes the contentious claim that Moses was an Egyptian, and his followers were not a separate Jewish race, but a group of dissident locals.

"The issues also derive, of course, from contemporary politics," says Hart. "What is it, for example, about religion that permits al-Qa'eda to destroy innocents, including Muslims?"

The play, which opens tomorrow at the Battersea Arts Centre, is not without its critics. One local rabbi, Yitzhak Schochet, complains: "It's not even original. Freud proposed an identical idea, which embarrassed people. If it was nonsense then, it remains nonsense now."

Hart is best known as a behind-the-scenes political fixer. He became close to Thatcher after writing speeches for an Eton schoolfriend, Tory MP Archie Hamilton, but has kept a low profile for the past decade.


from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/10/08/dp0801.xml

Edit to add: More David Hart info here, revealing how he administered the campaign of spying and sabotage directed against the striking miners under the guise of 'countering industrial subversion'.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2004, 10:42:08 AM »
Quote from: "jutl"
Quote from: "the sun"
But last night it was believed Equatorial Guinea may seek to extradite him — and his fate there could be far worse.


No it wasn't - Nguema said back on the 8th that he wasn't going to seek extradition of the Zimbabwean group headed by Mann. This makes it gigantically unlikely that he'd try to extradite Thatcher from South Africa. They just wanted a hook to hand their severed bollocks on.


Sorry to keep bumping this, but I just thought I'd point out how wrong I was there. Nguema is now seeking extradition for Thatcher, according to the BBC News. This could get very difficult for Thickie.

Quote from: "BBC News"
Lucie Bourthoumieu, a lawyer for the government of Equatorial Guinea, which still uses the death penalty for serious crimes, said the country had "strong hopes" of Sir Mark being extradited.

"South Africa is cooperating, and they are willing to fight furiously against all mercenaryism and terrorism," said the lawyer.


Mummy's flown back to Britain and is said to be distressed.

also:

Quote from: "News24 (SA)"

Among the guests were Mann and other schemers in the alleged coup plot. The paper reported that leaked documents showed that a JH Archer deposited $134 980 in Mann's business bank account four days before he was arrested.

This was believed to be Lord Archer, a famous author and friend of Baroness Thatcher. Archer's attorneys deny this allegation.


from http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1579431,00.html

So: a SA company called Triple A Aviation supplied planes to Mann and his militia. The brother of Triple A's owner was flying Mann's plane when they were arrested in Zimbabwe. Also:

Quote from: "The Times"

Triple A provided a
twin-engined King Air turboprop which flew the exiled Equatorian
Guinea opposition leader, Severo Moto, from Spain to Bamako in Mali on
the eve of the alleged coup attempt


So Triple A are involved in the coup plans, almost without doubt. Thatcher invested in Triple A, and the whisper is that he did so as a component of the coup planning. Thatcher's lawyers say that this is all just a nasty coincidence, and that Thatcher's payment to Triple A was intended to provide an air ambulance. This is possible, I suppose. JH Archer, whoever he turns out to be, doesn't even have that level if indirection to rely on - he gave Mann money directly... I wonder how the authorities here would respond to a request from EG to extradite Lord Archer.

"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2004, 11:21:30 AM »
Note: When discussing this with work collegues who DIDN'T grow up in a mining household, don't say

"Let's hope this finishes his mother off".


People will look at you like you've just wished a sweet, frail old woman dead.

terminallyrelaxed

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2004, 11:38:44 AM »
Quote from: "Billy The Fish"
Note: When discussing this with work collegues who DIDN'T grow up in a mining household, don't say

"Let's hope this finishes his mother off".


People will look at you like you've just wished a sweet, frail old woman dead.


Really? I would have then followed it up with "what? My dad was a miner". If they don't understand that then fuck 'em. Probably too busy counting the profits from their council house sale....

chand

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"Thickie Mork" Thatcher Held Over Coup Plot
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2004, 12:41:51 PM »
Quote from: "News24 (SA)"

Among the guests were Mann and other schemers in the alleged coup plot. The paper reported that leaked documents showed that a JH Archer deposited $134 980 in Mann's business bank account four days before he was arrested.

This was believed to be Lord Archer, a famous author and friend of Baroness Thatcher. Archer's attorneys deny this allegation.


They hinted at this in the Guardian diary thing yesterday. Oh, please let it be true. I want to see Archer ranting defiantly again for my amusement.