French Court to Decide on Noriega’s Extradition

Posted November 23rd, 2011 at 7:45 am (UTC-5)
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A French appeals court will decide Wednesday whether to extradite jailed former Panamanian military dictator Manuel Noriega to his native country, where he faces charges that could keep him imprisoned for another 20 years.

The United States, which originally extradited Noriega to France, last week approved Noriega's extradition to Panama, where he faces two prison terms totaling 20 years handed down after he was convicted in absentia for embezzlement, corruption and murder.

Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, when he was ousted by U.S. military forces and taken to Miami. He was convicted in 1992 on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

After serving that sentence, he was extradited to France in 2010 to face money laundering charges. He was convicted and sentenced to seven year in jail.

The 76-year-old Noriega is reported to suffer from health problems.