GERARD HOAREAU - THE SEYCHELLES FALLEN HERO2010/11/29 - Eddie Botha / Daily Dispatch Investigations Editor
IT WAS like reading John le Carré’s espionage novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Remember last week I wrote about the assassination of Gerard Hoareau, the leader of the Seychellois National Movement, in London in November 1985 – not too long after I met him in cloak and dagger circumstances at his resistance movement’s safe house in the British capital.
Then early Monday morning, a few hours after the Dispatch went online, I received a call from someone who introduced himself as Ian Withers. He was phoning from London, he said. He had read my column with great interest, as he had been heavily, and I mean heavily, involved in the Seychelles during the time I covered the aborted coup by mercenary leader Mike Hoare and his South African-backed band of army recces and hired soldiers of fortune.
Not to forget the behind-the-scenes support by SA’s military and national intelligence officers for Hoareau’s movement, which sought to overthrow the Seychelles government of President Albert Rene, who deposed former President Jimmy Mancham’s regime in a bloody coup.
Withers told me he worked for Rene at the time of the coup attempt. I mentioned to him that I had been detained in police cells by the Seychelles government, soon after my first visit to the island, because I had been mistaken as a relative of one the mercenaries who had escaped.
“I probably ordered your detention,” he said. Nice to meet you Mr Withers!
Our conversation brought back many memories of my numerous trips to the Seychelles. The many nice people I met there, my relationship with Hoareau, who tragically died by the hand of a sniper … and the Groot Krokkodil, PW Botha’s wrath after I – courtesy of a Seychelles contact – exposed the names and passport numbers of two national intelligence agents, who came to the island to (unsuccessfully) secure the release of their buddy, Martin Dolinschek.
At the time Dolinschek was on death row, after being caught on the island following the coup attempt. For that exposé I was found guilty of contravening the Official Secrets Act (Dolinschek was later released by Rene and he travelled back with me to SA).
Back to the death of Horeau. In 2006 the Seychelles Weekly published an exclusive interview which Rene had given to the French newspaper, Indian Ocean Newsletter, in 1986, the year after Hoareau was shot.
During the interview Rene was asked why Withers did not go back to Britain to answer the police’s questions about the killing of Hoareau. Rene said Withers preferred to stay in the Seychelles. “He is someone who has helped us. We cannot ask him to leave the country.”
Rene said he personally knew that Withers was not involved in Hoareau’s death.
“He was responsible for telephone bugging, that is true, and they know this in Britain. The day after Gerard Hoareau was assassinated, he (Withers) went to the British embassy and volunteered to provide all the necessary information, on condition that police go to the Seychelles to question him. They did not do so. Personally, I do not blame him for not going to Britain.
Would you go? The two people who placed the bug in Gerard Hoareau’s home are both in prison.”
Rene said his government had asked Britain to keep Hoareau’s resistance movement under surveillance. “They did not do this, even though the opposition openly says that it is prepared to overthrow the government by violence. So we did what was necessary in order to find out what was going on.”
The Seychelles president admitted that it was “troubling” that Hoareau was killed in London while his telephone was being bugged by his agents.
“But there is no link. If we had wanted to assassinate Gerard Hoareau, don’t you think that we would have removed the bug before doing so,” said Rene.
Then who killed Hoareau? Here is Rene’s explanation: “Gerard Hoareau had contacts with loads of people, with mercenaries to whom he owed money … In any case, it was a professional who carried out the killing. I am absolutely sure that it was not Ian Withers. He was paid only to monitor telephone conversations.”
Next time we chat, I’ll ask Withers
Pertinent Note: If Rene knows Whithers did not kill Gerard, then he must know who did, since he knows who did not.
PLAUSIBLE REASONS FOR
GERARD HOARAU'S ASSASSINATION
GERARD HOARAU'S ASSASSINATION
Following on from our previous questions we present the following scenario that point to the most plausible reason for Gerard’s assassination:
The illegal SPPF regime in Seychelles was receiving pretty good reports of Gerard’s movements from Ian Withers and his team who had installed sophisticated listening devices in a house next door to where Gerard lived in Edgware in London. However such an operation did not come cheap and was costing the regime tens of thousands of British Pounds on a monthly basis, adding up to millions annually. It was not something that they could afford to do on a long term basis.
Based on previous experience, Gerard himself was aware that his home telephone was probably being monitored and it was for that reason that he never spoke or communicated any of his business on the phone apart from normal and inconsequential conversations with his family and friends. Thus any consequential communication pertaining to his activities (as President of the SNM and more importantly head of the MPR) against the illegal regime was carried out at random public phones throughout London. It was impossible for the regime to monitor such calls as they could never tell which of the thousands of public phones throughout London that he would use on any given day. However Gerard was not aware of the fact that they had bought a house next door which contained other listening devices that could pick up some of his conversations within the house but again there was not much in terms of his strategic plans that they could pick up from his normal conversations that he had in his house. This must have been frustrating for the regime especially in light of the fact that they were paying millions of Pounds to keep up this surveillance operation.
However sometime before November 1985, they did pick up a bit of information that must have been rather disturbing to them. Gerard had decided to move from his Edgware home to a new undisclosed address in London. This meant that their costly surveillance operation would be made redundant unless they could dismantle it all and relocate it to wherever Gerard was going. This would have meant finding and purchasing a new house near Gerard’s new address, moving and re-installations of all the electronic devices. This would not have been easy because they would probably not have been able to purchase such a property immediately especially if there was no property next door for sale. At a time of rising property prices in London, it would have added up to substantial extra costs. Further to the cost element, this new operation would have taken a lot of time before they could get everything operational again and during that time they would not be able to gather the vital information that they were looking for.
At this juncture, the murderous SPPF regime had to make some decisions:
Could they afford the extra cost of funding this move to a new address?
Would they be able to immediately find an appropriate house next to Gerard’s new home again?
If not how long would that take?
Could they afford the loss of information that would occur while they tried to relocate and re-install all the equipment?
How long could they afford to continue funding such an expensive operation run by an expensive spy like Ian Withers and his group?
If the answers to the above questions were negative was it therefore not simpler and less costly to eliminate such a dangerous and determined opponent like Gerard once and for all?
Was that the time therefore that they decided that Gerard should be assassinated?
Who took that decision?
Who hired the assassin?
Who selected the Sterling sub-machine gun as the murder weapon?
Was that weapon taken to the UK through diplomatic bags and if so who authorised it?
Who carried that weapon which was eventually used to murder Gerard to the UK?
Who was therefore ultimately responsible for Gerard’s murder?
Make your own intelligent deduction!
TWENTY FIVE YEARS LATER -
GERARD’S MURDER IS STILL AN “OPEN CASE”
GERARD’S MURDER IS STILL AN “OPEN CASE”
Twenty five years have passed since the young, popular exiled resistance Seychellois leader, Gerard Hoarau, was shot dead outside his home in London. Twenty five years and yet still no answers with regards as to who ordered and carried out this odious crime. Gerard was not the only victim of politically motivated murders in Seychelles. The list is long and all the murders with the exception of Gerard’s were carried out on Seychellois soil and yet again we still have no answers as to who carried out those crimes. While South Africans have exorcised their demons through a public process of national reconciliation inspired by Bishop Desmond Tutu’s “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, the regime in Seychelles has never bothered to initiate any public inquiries into any of the murders and disappearances of its political critics that occurred under their watch and in their own jurisdiction. Until they do so intelligent people can only assume one thing – they sanctioned those crimes and they are responsible for them.
Here we present you with some facts and ask some questions on Gerard’s case. Draw your own conclusions.
Fact: On 29th November 1985 Gerard Hoarau, President of the SNM and Head of the MPR was shot dead outside his home in London. The perpetrators of this heinous crime have still not been identified or apprehended:
Who ultimately ordered the assassination of Gerard Hoarau?
Who pulled the trigger of that Sterling sub-machine gun that emptied 39 bullets into Gerard’s body?
Fact: The British Police found out that Gerard’s movement were being monitored by sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment placed in a house next door to Gerard’s London home. That house was purchased by a company belonging to Mario Ricci who was acting as an agent of the Seychelles Government at the time.
Under whose direct instructions was Ricci acting upon?
Who hired Ian Withers and the three men who monitored Gerard’s movement on a 24 hour basis for months and eventually leading to his assassination?
Fact: Gerard was killed with a British made Sterling sub-machine gun. Those guns were standard issue to the riot control PMU squad of Seychelles Police prior to the illegal coup of 5th June 1977. These weapons were captured by the SPUP terrorists when they usurped power in the coup.
Who issued that weapon to the assassin and who used it to murder Gerard?
How was that weapon smuggled into Britain and how was it disposed of after it was used to carry out that dastardly act?
Fact: Three men were arrested by the British Police for carrying out an illegal electronic surveillance of Gerard’s activities. They were consequently prosecuted and convicted of perverting the course of public justice at the Old Bailey in London. Some interesting facts emerged from this case.
Scotland Yard Anti Terrorist Squad wanted to pursue leads that led to Seychelles. Their requests to follow those leads to collect evidence were refused by the illegal regime in Seychelles.
Why was Scotland Yard refused access to Seychelles?
Those three men reported directly to a notorious spy by the name of Ian Withers.
Who hired Ian Withers who was based and owned businesses in the Seychelles at the time?
One of the prosecuted men (a BT engineer by the name of Richards) revealed in evidence in court that the night before Gerard’s assassination, he turned up at the house to check on the equipment. When he tried to open the door, the other man Underwood who was in charge of the surveillance team, opened the door from the inside and told Richards that he could not enter because “one of their guys was inside the house” and he did not want Richards to see the person inside. Richards left without seeing who was inside. The next day Gerard was killed.
Who was the mystery person that Underwood called “one of their guys”?
Why did Underwood not want Richards to see that person?
Was that person the one who ultimately shot and killed Gerard the next day?
Why did the prosecutor not ask Underwood to reveal in court, who was that person?
Did Scotland Yard officers investigating that crime, interrogate Underwood as to the description of that person?
If so does Scotland Yard know and hold a record of the description of that person and is that the reason that they wanted to follow their investigations in Seychelles?
When sentencing the three men, the British Judge at the Old Bailey, described their crime as vile and despicable and said that he believed that their actions had directly led to the death of an innocent man. He said that he wished that he could have given them a much more severe custodial sentence, but that regrettably he was constrained by the punishment stipulated the law relating to the specific charges against them. From the Honourable Judge’s comments it is clear that he saw a clear link between the surveillance activities and Gerard’s assassination. Therefore, the miscreants that authorised and financed that illegal surveillance activity of Gerard’s movements, were also those responsible for his murder.
Who were all the people behind that operation and who gave the ultimate order to open fire and kill Gerard Hoarau?