What Will Come Of Simon Mann's Release?

Through his four years detention in Zimbabwe and his 16 months in Equatorial Guinea, the former SAS officer has maintained that he was not the man who masterminded the coup plot in 2004.

There were many other characters involved, he says. Men who have escaped years in some less-than-pleasent African jails.

He’s named a few: Sir Mark Thatcher was, he alleges "an intimate player" in the plot. He claims the two discussed how the country would be run after the coup had succeeded. And Eli Calil, a Lebanese-born, London-based businessman was, claims Mann, the mastermind behind it all.

Both men categorically deny those assertions.

Mark Thatcher has admitted unwittingly supplying money he thought would be used for humanitarian purposes.

But the allegations go further than singling out individuals. Mr Mann claims that the governments of both South Africa and Spain were in on the plot.

It’s said that the man who was to be installed as the new president – opposition leader Severo Moto – was waiting on a plane in Spain, ready to be whisked into the country.

And there were, apparently, a couple of Spanish warships floating off the west coast of Africa. The Spanish deny any involvement.

And there have reportedly been mixed messages from the UK government about whether they knew of the plot.

Whatever the truth, it’s a remarkable story. Simon Mann will probably soon tell it. Some may hope he doesn’t.