World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Luanda Trial

Article Id: WHEBN0001667630
Reproduction Date:

Title: Luanda Trial  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mercenary, Mercenaries, Unlawful combatant, Law of war, July 10
Collection: 1976 in Angola, Angolan Civil War, Mercenaries, Military of Angola, Trials in Angola
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Luanda Trial

The Luanda Trial was a trial held in Luanda, Angola in June and July 1976 by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), to prosecute thirteen foreign mercenaries who had served its defeated rival, the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA).[1]


  • Sentencing 1
  • Notes 2
    • Citations 2.1
    • Bibliography 2.2
  • External links 3


The following sentences were passed on June 28, 1976:

16 years' imprisonment:

24 years' imprisonment:

  • John Lawlor (UK)
  • Colin Evans (UK)
  • Cecil Martin "Satch" Fortuin (South Africa/UK)

30 years' imprisonment:

  • Michael Douglas Wiseman (UK)
  • Kevin John Marchant (UK)
  • Gustavo Marcelo Grillo, 27 (Argentina/USA)

Execution by firing squad:

  • Andrew Gordon McKenzie, 25 (UK)
  • Derek John Barker, 35 (UK)
  • Daniel Francis Gearhart, 34 (USA)

Some of the verdicts had been expected, especially regarding Georgiou. However, others were considered excessive, particularly over Gearhart, who had arrived in Angola only days before his arrest and never taken part in any activities against the MPLA government. British Prime Minister James Callaghan sent a cable to Angolan President Agostinho Neto requesting mercy for the men.

Nevertheless, the four condemned men were executed by MPLA military police on July 10, 1976. McKenzie, who had been seriously wounded in the leg and used a wheelchair, stood up to face the firing squad.

The two remaining Americans, Grillo and Acker, were released in 1982 in a prisoner exchange worked out by the United States Department of State. The British prisoners were released in 1984 after negotiation by the British Foreign Office.



  1. ^ "1976: Death sentence for mercenaries" (HTML). BBC News. 1976-06-28. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 


  • Burchett, Wilfred and Roebuck, Derek. The Whores of War: Mercenaries Today
  • Cohen Jr., Sylvester Review The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Jun., 1979), pp. 342-344
  • Kennedy, Bruce. Soldiers of misfortune CNN Interactive
  • Stockwell, John. In Search of Enemies: A CIA story

External links

  • BBC article on the Luanda Trial BBC On this day 11 June.
  • Interview with Dave Tomkins, former guerrilla
  • Time magazine account of the trials
  • Cuban documentary footage Time 3:28 - 5:56 - Captured and killed FNLA mercenaries possibly from the 14 Feb 76 ambushes of two FNLA patrols in Cuimba. In video clip at time 3:36 - 3:53 possibly wounded mercenaries Gustavo Grillo and John Nammock sitting in the back of a FAPLA truck. Time 4:33 and 4:53 possibly wounded mercenary Gary Acker. At 5:03 mercenary sitting on the ground wearing the beret is possibly Daniel Gearhart.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.