US rules Noriega can be extradited

Former Panamanain leader may be sent to France once he completes his prison term.

    Noriega is due to complete his US prison sentence
    for drug-trafficking on September 9 [AFP]

    The French authorities allege that Noriega deposited profits from cocaine-trafficking, totalling about $3.15m, according to court papers, into French banks in the 1980s.
     
    Noriega's lawyers had called for him to be sent to Panama instead, even though he has also been convicted there in absentia for crimes committed during his rule.
     
    But another federal judge rejected that proposal last week.
     
    Extradition requests
     
    Noriega's lawyers questioned why Panama, which has filed an extradition request, had not actively pursued it.
     
    "Could it be that there are elements in the Panamanian government that do not want General Noriega's repatriation?" the defense team said in its petition.
     
    The petition alleged there was "reason to believe that the French are seeking General Noriega's extradition as a quid pro quo for a $300m contract to sell high-speed trains to Panama".
     
    The allegations were based on "statements by the French ambassador to Panama, Pierre Henry Guignard", the petition said.
     
    Noriega, who ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, was captured in the US 1989 invasion of Panama, ordered by president George Bush Snr, the father of the current US president.
     
    The Panamanian leader had worked with the CIA for years, but eventually fell out of favour with Washington amid suspicions he was involved in drug-trafficking.
     
    In 1992, Noriega was sentenced by a US judge to 40 years in prison for drug-trafficking, but the penalty was later reduced to 30 years and was shortened again for good behaviour.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.