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Published 6th November 2009

Vol 50 No 22


Equatorial Guinea

After his release, Simon Mann seeks revenge and a book deal

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Some facts may now emerge about the sponsors and planners of the 2004 coup attempt - and about who was set to benefit

An expensive round of score-settling and legal cases among the purported financiers and conspirators behind the 2004 coup plot in Equatorial Guinea is likely to be the immediate outcome of the release of convicted plotter Simon Mann, a dual British and South African national, in Malabo on 2 November. Less formally, Mann has some settling up to do with the soldiers imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea and Zimbawe. Mann was convicted in 2008 of leading a conspiracy to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (AC passim). He was sentenced to 35 years but had cooperated fully with the Equatorial Guinean regime, prompting speculation that he might benefit from clemency. Officials in Malabo add that Mann had been interviewed in prison since his trial by British anti-terrorist police officers. The main targets, according to Mann, will be the businessmen Sir Mark Thatcher and Ely Claude Alan Calil, an oil trader who has dual Lebanese and British nationality.


Abuja buys a Delta amnesty

President Yar'Adua's government has a won a respite in the Delta, but without political reform it will remain only temporary

With an eye on the 2011 elections and with oil production now well under half of the installed capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua signed an amne...


A killing in Kakata

As the government struggles to stem corruption, the head of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission is murdered

Keith Jubah was shot dead, his body hacked and burned, in Kakata, 35 kilometres north of Monrovia, on 1 November. Nobody yet knows who killed him but he had plenty of enemies. He w...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

A competition in the anti-corruption business is heating up between German-based Transparency lnternational and British-based Tax Justice Network. Backed by multinationals, TI prides itself on its diplomatic skills and political influence, but critics say TI fears offending its corporate and political pals. TJN sees state corruption as a facilitator for the illicit transfer of billions of dollars from the developing world to the rich West through transfer pricing, mispricing schemes and tax have...
A competition in the anti-corruption business is heating up between German-based Transparency lnternational and British-based Tax Justice Network. Backed by multinationals, TI prides itself on its diplomatic skills and political influence, but critics say TI fears offending its corporate and political pals. TJN sees state corruption as a facilitator for the illicit transfer of billions of dollars from the developing world to the rich West through transfer pricing, mispricing schemes and tax havens. The differing approaches are shown by their recent research. TI rates 180 countries in order of perceived corruption: last year, Denmark was judged honest, and Switzerland ranked 5th, followed by the Netherlands (7), Austria (12), Ireland and Britain (joint 16) and the United States (18). Among the worst were Equatorial Guinea (171), Sudan (173) and Somalia (180). TJN argues such indexes are meaningless without identifying the destination of the corrupt funds, so this week it published an index of the worst secrecy jurisdictions – the best places to hide stolen money or avoid tax. Many countries feted by TI as low-corruption states were rated by TJN as among the worst for lack of transparency and accountability of their financial systems. Delaware in the USA ranked as the most opaque, then Switzerland (3), Britain and the City of London (5), Ireland (6), Austria (12), and the Netherlands (15). Perhaps TI and TJN should pool resources and produce a joined-up anti-corruption index.
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Good judge, bad judge

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'Too many enemies'

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