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Zimbabwe Extradition Decision Nears For UK Mercenary Simon Mann


Following months of extradition hearings,the fate of British mercenary Simon Mann, currently serving a prison sentence in Zimbabwe on arms charges related to an alleged coup plot, will be decided on Wednesday, May 9.

His lawyer and Zimbabwe state attorneys have made final arguments and Magistrate Omega Mugumbate will decide whether to extradite Mann to Equatorial Guinea to face charges that he tried to mount a coup against its government in 2004.

Mann and 69 other suspected mercenaries were arrested at Harare International Airport where their plane had landed, en route, they said, to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they had a contract to provide security for a mining operation. But authorities alleged they intended to overthrow the Malabo government.

Mann's seven-year sentenced was reduced to four years, of which he has now served three. He is due to be released May 11, two days after the extradition decision.

Mann’s lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he is confident his client will not be extradited.

But state prosecutor Joseph Jagada, who argued on Equatorial Guinea's behalf, says there is enough evidence to prove Mann tried to stage a coup there.

Jagada said he believes the magistrate will order Mann to be extradited.

For more stories from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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