Page last updated at 22:59 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 23:59 UK

Spain jails E Guinean exile Moto

Severo Moto (file picture 30/04/05)
Severo Moto lives as a political refugee in Spain

A Spanish judge has ordered Equatorial Guinea's exiled opposition leader to remain in jail pending trial.

Judge Fernando Andreu denied Severo Moto bail. He is charged with trying to traffic weapons into the West African country last month.

Prosecutors say Mr Moto planned to send two rifles, a handgun and ammunition by ship to Equatorial Guinea.

He leads a government-in-exile based in the Spanish capital, Madrid, where he has had political asylum since 1986.

His asylum status was revoked in 2005 after he was accused of using Spain as a platform for several coup attempts in his native country, but this year his asylum status was reinstated on appeal.

The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, seized power in 1979, in a coup in which he killed his uncle.

He accuses Severo Moto of sponsoring a failed attempt to overthrow him in 2004.

Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, pleaded guilty in South Africa to unknowingly helping to finance that plot.

However, Mr Thatcher has always denied any direct involvement.

Timeline: Equatorial Guinea
26 Jan 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Equatorial Guinea
26 Jan 08 |  Country profiles

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