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Ex-Mercenary Mann Fights Extradition From Zimbabwe To Equatorial Guinea

Former mercenary soldier Simon Mann, convicted by Zimbabwean authorities of arms violations related to his alleged plotting of a coup against the government of Equatorial Guinea in 2004, testified Friday on his own behalf in an extradition hearing.

It was the second day of the hearing at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, Harare.

Mann's lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said his client “completely outwitted" lawyers for the state despite his poor health and the years he has spent in prison.

Zimbabwean state attorney Joseph Jagada was reported to have told a magistrate on Thursday that if Mann were extradited, an independent judge would be appointed by the African Union and Equatorial Guinea would not seek the death penalty.

But Samkange told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that extradition to Malabo would be a death sentence for Mann.

Mann, arrested with 61 other men when their plane landed at Harare International Airport in March 2004, is due to be released from prison in May.

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