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Former mercenary Simon Mann ‘to testify’ against businessman who plotted ‘wonga coup’ – posted by

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Former mercenary Simon Mann is set to testify – under heavy guard –against the businessman he accused of masterminding the plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that the West African state is prosecuting tycoon Ely Calil in Lebanon, where meetings concerning the abortive coup d’etat were allegedly held.

Mr Calil, who is Lebanese but holds British citizenship, has always strenuously denied any involvement.

Earlier this year Mr Mann, 59, a former SAS soldier, secretly travelled to Beirut to submit written evidence to an examining magistrate.

During his brief stay in the capital he was kept under 24-hour armed guard. He is due to return in the next few months to give oral evidence in court.

At his own trial in Equatorial Guinea, Mr Mann portrayed London-based Mr Calil, a friend of Peter Mandelson, as ‘the Cardinal’, who controlled every aspect of the attempted 2004 coup, and himself as a mere ‘junior’.

But in a rare interview, Mr Calil, 65, said he had ‘absolutely nothing’ to do with it, adding he only ever supported ‘democratic change’ in the tiny state.

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