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    Former British mercenary and Special Air Service (SAS) officer said that it is "clearly absurd" for the UK authorities to pursue former British service personnel for alleged acts committed during the Anglo-Irish conflict.

    EDINBURGH (Sputnik) Simon Mann, a former British mercenary and Special Air Service (SAS) officer, told Sputnik Tuesday it is "clearly absurd" for the UK authorities to pursue former British service personnel for alleged acts committed during the Anglo-Irish conflict, known as the "The Troubles."

    "Going after soldiers for what they did in the line of duty back then — the 70’s — even if there may have been illegalities in those deeds — either by their own choice or by the army’s way of doing things — when the terrorists are all off the hook by means of the Good Friday [peace] Agreement — is clearly absurd," Mann said.

    The former British Special Forces officer was speaking after two previous serving soldiers from the Parachute Regiment were last week charged by the UK Public Prosecution Service with the murder of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader in Belfast in 1972.

    The Troubles raged from the late 1960s until a peace agreement was signed in 1998. As part of the deal hundreds of convicted terrorists and combatants, some serving life sentences, were released.

    Mann, who in 2004 was sentenced to 34 years in jail for his role in the failed military coup d'etat in Equatorial Guinea, that reportedly involved Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said Thatcher would not have allowed the prosecution of former British soldiers.

    "Lady [Margaret] Thatcher would have called an end to anything like that before it began. I would like to talk to the lawyers and other legal pond life who are carrying out these actions," Mann added.

    Mann was released from jail in Equatorial Guinea in 2009 on humanitarian grounds following a presidential pardon.

    Over 3,500 people were killed during the Anglo-Irish conflict, including over 700 UK troops.

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