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South African Plotters To Be Questioned About Coup Masterminds

South African authorities say they will interrogate 62 suspected mercenaries released from Zimbabwe this weekend after more than a year in jail.

A police spokesman said they will try to identify -- and then prosecute -- ringleaders of the attempted coup last March in Equatorial Guinea.

The men -- all of who claim South African citizenship -- were implicated in the failed coup, and could face more jail time if found guilty of breaking South Africa's strict anti-mercenary laws.

Zimbabwe deported the men Sunday after releasing them from Chikurubi Prison last Thursday. They were arrested in March, 2004, after their airplane landed in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, where they were reportedly picking up weapons to be used for the coup.

Earlier this year, British businessman Sir Mark Thatcher, accused of partially financing the plot, paid a 500-thousand-dollar fine after pleading guilty to violating anti-mercenary laws.

Some informationh for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.