asked Her Majesty's Government:
What representations they are making to the Government of the United States to request them to exert their influence on Equatorial Guinea to secure the safe return of Simon Mann, in the light of the recent visit to him by Donald Johnson, United States ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. [HL1900]
The Government sought feedback from the United States in relation to the ambassador's visit to Mr Mann.
United States officials visited Mr Mann in Black Beach prison on 6 February 2008, at the invitation of the Equatorial Guinean authorities, before access was granted to UK consular officials. While the visit by the United States afforded an opportunity to check on Mr Mann's welfare, we nevertheless made clear to the Government of Equatorial Guinea that such a visit was not a substitute for UK consular access. We will remain in touch with the United States on this matter as warranted.
The Government made their own representations to the Equatorial Guinean authorities. In London, I met the Equatorial Guinean ambassador and subsequently spoke to him by phone. In Malabo, our consul, visiting from the deputy high commission in Lagos, met the Equatorial Guinean Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice.
UK consular access to Mr Mann was granted on 12 February. We will continue to visit Mr Mann in prison in line with our consular policy.