Thatcher Pleads Guilty in Coup Plot

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was fined US$500,000 and given a four-year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to unwittingly helping finance a coup plot.

Thatcher's plea-bargain terms include cooperating with investigators, despite having left Cape Town on Thursday to return to London.

The charges brought against him relate to the financing of a helicopter that he claimed was to have been used as an air ambulance. In his plea bargain, he admitted that he had realised the intended mercenary use of the helicopter before the conclusion of the deal.