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Simon Mann

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 180W, on Simon Mann, what the reasons are for his view that the (a) threat and (b) use of sanctions against Equatorial Guinea would be incompatible with securing the welfare of Simon Mann. (188532)

[holding answer 22 February 2008]: As stated in my written answer to the hon. Member on 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 180W, the Government’s main concern is for Mr. Mann’s immediate welfare.

Our objective in dealing with the Equatorial Guinean authorities is to maintain open lines of communication, with a view to regular access to Simon Mann and ensuring that he is treated in line with international standards.

We do not believe that sanctions would be conducive to facilitating dialogue with the Equatorial Guinean government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Equatorial Guinea declining to accept the legitimacy of any trial of Simon Mann by that government following his abduction to that country from Zimbabwe. (188531)

[holding answer 22 February 2008]: The issue of the legality of Mr. Mann’s removal from Zimbabwe and its implications for any subsequent trial are a matter for Mr. Mann’s legal representatives to take forward in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea.

We have expressed our concern to the Zimbabwean authorities following Mr. Mann’s transfer to Equatorial Guinea.

The Equatorial Guinean authorities have assured us that Mr. Mann will receive a fair trial, in accordance with international law, and that he will be free to appoint a lawyer.

We will make representations to the Equatorial Guinea authorities if Mr. Mann’s trial does not follow internationally recognised standards for a fair trial.