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Zimbabwe Postpones British Mercenary Hearing, Citing Escape Risk

The Zimbabwean attorney general's office Friday postponed an extradition hearing for Simon Mann, the British national convicted of attempting to mount a coup against the government of Equatorial Guinea in 2004 and sentenced to seven years in prison.

The extradition hearing was put off until Thursday and the venue was moved from the courts to the Chikurubi Maximum Security prison where he is being held.

Mann’s lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, dismissed reports his client is “close to death,” but acknowledged that he is in poor health. Sentenced to seven years in prison in 2005, Mann is scheduled to be released on May 11.

Samkange told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that officials feared the former mercenary might stage an escape.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...